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THE principal design of this book is to place within the reach of the youth of our country, the means of learning and understanding the Constitution of the United States.

To carry this design into effect, it was necessary to give a brief historical account of the causes which led to the union of the states under one government; to show what were the political maxims and sentiments of our fathers when our national Independence was first declared; to exhibit the form of government of which the country first made trial, the defects of that government in its operation; and the causes and manner of the formation of the government which now exists under the Constitution.

The arrangement of the work is, accordingly, historical. The first chapter traces

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