TOWNS

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TOWNS. We have already given an account of the rise and growth of towns in modern Europe, and of their moral and political influence upon society, in the articles City, and Community. (See these articles, and also Hanse Towns, and Free Cities.) In a general sense, town, in England, is a walled place, or borough,. and comprehends the several species of cities, boroughs (q. v.), and common towns or villages; but, in a narrower sense, it is restricted to the latter class of places, a city being a place which is or has been a bishop's see, and a borough a place which sends members to parliament. In the U. States, where the different states are divided into counties (with. the exception of South Carolina and Louisiana, in the former of which the divis ions are termed districts, and in the latter, parishes), the word town has a somewhat different signification. In the New England and Middle States (with the exception of Delaware), and in Ohio, the counties are subdivided into townships, which, at least in many of the states, are improp erly styled towns, while by cities is commonly meant those places which are incorporated with certain peculiar municipal powers. In the New England states, the townships differ much in extent, varying from five to six miles square. They are incorporated by the legislatures of the states with certain rights, and a distinct police, conducted by officers chosen annually by the inhabitants. Some of the principal officers are a townclerk, selectmen, assessors of taxes, overseers of the poor, school committee, &c. The townships in the New England states, and in New York, are subdivided into school districts of a convenient size, in which free schools are maintained at least a pait of every year. The money necessary for the support of the schools and the poor, for the repair of roads, &c, is raised in each town by vote of the inhabitants. Each of these towns thus constitutes a little democracy, in which the affairs of the community are managed by the people themselves in their townmeetings. Towror? ; a village of England, in Yorkshire, three miles southeast of Tadcaster, A sanguinary battle was fought here, between the forces of the houses of York and Lancaster, in 1461, in which the latter were completely defeated. (See EdivardlV.)