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The New International Encyclopædia/District

DISTRICT (ML. districtus, territory wherein a lord may distrain, from Lat. distringere, to pull asunder). A political subdivision of a city, county, or State, which forms the basis of legislative representation. Its boundaries are fixed by law, either by the enactment of the legislature or by the adjudication of a court, to whom this power is delegated. The citizens thereof assemble within these boundaries and vote for local, State and National officials. In the United States the boundaries of the Congressional district in each State are determined by the State Legislature after the apportionment of representation has been made by Congress, following on every decennial census. The ratio of representation under the census of 1900 was 194,182, and the total number of Congressional districts 386. There is no definite principle laid down for the manner in which a State may be redistributed, and as a rule the party in power will, as far as possible, so distribute representation as to insure its continued supremacy. See Gerrymander.

For the purposes of taxation, the term has a broader meaning, and the Supreme Court of the United States has decided that for the collection of taxes a district means any part of a State described for the purpose of assessment, without reference to the civil or political divisions of the State, made for election purposes. See Kelly vs. Sanders, 99 United States Reports, p. 441.