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[111] short, if any thing new was to be brought forward, the boys had already taken sides on the question, and waited impatiently for its introduction to the meeting. When the long-delayed debate ensued, each gallery-politician swelled with joy and hope as a favorite speaker rose. This ebbing and flowing of youthful emotions were the republican educational influences brought to bear on the boys of every village; and the lad of twelve years felt an interest in politics, while he of twenty had settled his choice of party and men, and was ready to vote understandingly. The absence of this republican pupilage in Europe makes a proper republic there almost an impossibility.

May 13, 1773: The new question arose whether a clergyman, not settled, nor ministering to any parish, should be freed from taxation. After much reflection, the town “voted not to abate Rev. Mr. Edward Brooks's poll-tax.”

March 6, 1775: All town-meetings were warned “in his Majesty's name,” till the one of this date, which dropped royalty as a power among us. The form soon substituted was, “In the name of the government and people of Massachusetts Bay.”

By comparing the officers in Medford, as seen in the years 1748 and 1782, it will appear that the separation from England made not the slightest difference in the municipal organizations or modes of elections. The only difference discoverable is, that before the “Declaration of independence” the town-meetings were warned “in his Majesty's name,” but after 1776 they were warned “in the name and by the authority of the people;” and, after the adoption of the Constitution, “in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” This, not needing any change in their political system, shows that the first system of town-officers and municipal elections was upon the idea of republican equality and submission to popular majorities. True democracy grew up as a necessity among our fathers; and from these town organizations resulted a true republican education, out of which “Independence” grew. Enlarged and Christian patriotism is the result of wise and liberal town administrations. We cannot too highly prize our separate town municipalities. They are the primary schools of the republic, and do for the state what individuals do for the family.

Compare the records of the town-meeting in 1748, and the one hereto appended:--

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