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HAND-BOOK OF POLITICS
BEING A RECORD OF
IMPORTANT POLITICAL ACTION,
NATIONAL AND STATE,
PEOM JULY 15, 1870, TO JULY 15, 1872.
CLBBE OF THE HOUSE 01? BBPBHSBNTATIVES OF THH UNITED STATES.
PHILP & SOLOMONS.
The purpose of this Volume is to present, in distinct and classified form, the chief political facts of the last two years, and thereby to trace the direction and progress of political thought throughout the country during that period. Prepared on the same plan as my previous volumes on the Rebellion and on Reconstruction, and constituting with them a continuous series, the three will be found to exhibit with clearness the astounding changes in Constitution and laws which have marked the last twelve years, and the shifting relations of men and parties to them.
This Volume begins the record at the date at which that on Reconstruction closed—July 15, 1870—and includes the two years which have since elapsed. Among its contents will 1>@ found the Messages, Annual and Special, of President Grant touching all the topics which have engaged the attention and energies of his Administration; the votes in both Houses of Congress on all controverted political issues, such as Amnesty, "Ku Klux" legislation, iwhich involved the old question of a suspension of the Habeas Corpus.) and the various phases of the "Civil Rights" agitation; the status of Female Suffrage as a constitutional claim; the various steps and votes taken in the direction of Civil Service Reform; the wrestling with the Labor Question, the Education Question, and the Land Grant Question; and the- late decision of the Supreuie Court of the United States on the constitutionality of " legal-tender" notes, in reversal of ihe previous decision of 1869; which, with the usual lists of Cabinet and Congress, and an extended variety of miscellaneous matter, will, it is hoped, stamp the work with other value than belongs to a political compendium merely convenient for temporary use.
The chapters containing the actual changes recently made in State Constitutions, and those proposed in the last Congress and the present to the National Constitution by those most familiar with its practical operation, will engage attention. The former indicates the new necessities of State life; the latter is a curious illustration of the variety of view which able men entertain of the need of further amendment of our common charter.
The Tabular Statements are very complete. Chief among them may be remarked those which give an analyzed statement of the Revenues and Expenditures of the Government from 1860 to 1871, inclusive, and the copious explanatory pages which follow them, affording the means for exhaustive comparisons in every direction. The interesting tables showing the amount of the National Debt from 1857 to 1872, the Population, the Manufactures, the Agricultural Products, the Wealth, and the amounts of Debt and Taxation, by States, are a mine
of information, and give pleasing contrasts with the same classes of facts developed by the iii
census of I860. The startling and reliable figures respecting the grants of Public Land, for whatever purpose made, go far to vindicate the increasing sensitiveness shown by the public and by Congress on this subject, while the elaborate statement of the rate of duty levied upon every article by the respective Tariffs of 1870 and 1872 will be found to be the only authentic publication yet made of the important changes about to affect every industrial interest of the Nation. All which are additional to full tables of the returns of the last Presidential and late State elections, of the representation of each State in Congress as fixed by the census of 1870, contrasted with that of 1860, and of the strength of each State and of the various sections of the country in the Electoral College.
A chapter is given to the relations of Great Britain to.the United States, which contain* the Johnson-Clarendon Convention concluded under President Johnson, but not ratified by the Senate, as well as the Treaty of Washington, with the proposed supplemental article as originally proposed by Great Britain and as amended by the Senate, together with the names of the Arbitrators now sitting at Geneva for the settlement of all the differences between the two Governments.
An unusual space is devoted to the Political Platforms adopted in 1871 and 1872 by State Conventions, that the various shades of current sentiment might be fairly reflected. The national declarations of the great parties of the country, with the letters of acceptance of their candidates, are, of course, fully given.
It is hoped .that the Volume will, on examination, satisfy, both by its scope and its detail, the expectations formed of it, and prove permanently useful in elucidating the remarkable oolitical phenomena of this period.
In the votes given the names of Republicans are printed in Roman letters; of all others
EDWARD McPHERSON. Washington, D. C., July 16, 1872.