Local Government in the United States

Local Government in the United States

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Local Government in the United States

Local Government in the United States

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Excerpt

The attention of students of government has been repeatedly called to the fundamental importance of what is known as local government. Not only does this represent the aspect of government with which the average citizen is in the most continuous and conscious contact in the activities of his everyday life, but it is also, as has frequently been pointed out, that phase of government which is the least subject to rapid change. The familiar example of France, where many of the fundamental characteristics of the system of local government outlasted repeated revolutionary changes in the national government, serves as a common illustration of this fact.

It is somewhat surprising, therefore, in view of the acknowledged importance of the study of local government, that this field has been so generally neglected in the United States. One phase of local government, namely, the government of cities, has, it is true, received in the last twenty-five years very general attention from investigators, writers, and the general public. But the government of the county and its rural subdivisions has been all but ignored in this country.

Furthermore, one very important consideration in the study of local government in the United States has been quite overlooked in the literature of the subject -- that consideration is the essential unity of the problem. City government is simply one aspect of local government, and it cannot be studied advantageously as an isolated phenomenon. It is as closely bound up in one way with the . . .

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