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HAND-BOOK OF POLITICS
BEING A RECORD OF
IMPORTANT POLITICAL ACTION.
NATIONAL AND STATE,
FROM JULY 15, 1870, TO JULY 15, 1872.
Hon. EDWARD MCPHERSON, LL. D.,
CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES.
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 be 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, (which 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 Supreme Court of the United States on the constitutionality of “legal-tender”' notes, in reversal of the 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 a:nount 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 pleasiug contrasts with the same classes of facts developed by the