The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 12, July 1908 - April, 1909 Page: 245
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Book Reviews and Notices.
and over the inhabitants of each State; yet each people and each
government is limited as to the matters over which its powers
extend. Each within the sphere of its political activity is the
highest and uncontrolled power, subject to no other authority and
accountable to no other for its conduct. * * * This is the
practical condition in which the citizens of the United States are
placed, and from which there is no escape except by revolution."
Passing from the consideration of this abstract question, the
writer classifies governments according to form into the usual
classes, as monarchies, aristocracies, and so forth, and points out
the necessity for the separation of the three departments of gov-
ernment as a means of preventing the tyrannical use of political
power. A chapter is devoted to the most important powers and
duties of governments, another to the relation of the citizen, or
subject, to the sovereign, and a third to political parties and the
part they play in all representative government.
In the chapter on the relation of the Federal government to the
States, the question of the rights of the States receives a brief
notice. On the subject of secession we find it stated that "so long
as the argument was confined to the historical development leading
up to the government and its establishment, and to the language
of the instrument and its contemporaneous construction, the ad-
vocates of the rights of the States had decided advantage. But
later there came a time in our history when this question was left
to the 'arbitrament of the sword,' and the result of battle was
against the States' right of secession and in favor of a centralized
government. It is too late to reopen the question, and all are
alike agreed that since the surrender of General Lee at Appomatox
no State has a right to secede from the Union." The writer rec-
ognizes that there are many questions still unsettled which involve
the relative rights of the State on the one hand and the Federal
government on the other, but they are not sectional questions and
will probably never become sectional and need give little real
cause for alarm.
The fifth part of the book, which deals with the elementary
principles of law, is a departure from the beaten path in presenting
the subject of Civil Government. This departure is certainly
justified by the imporance of the subject and the great value
to the citizen of even a meager knowledge of the most common
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 12, July 1908 - April, 1909, periodical, 1909; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101048/m1/273/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.