(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

I4o                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
It will thus be seen that the revolutionary war was   not
strictly a war of theory, nor was there any cry of " liberty,
fraternity and equality/' as if these things were not enjoyed
already.    In addition to this there was a great degree  of
steadiness, a social stability in the American colonies, wholly
unlike   the  unsteady,  never-ceasing  dissatisfaction   of   the
French people with the present, leading on to new experiments
of revolution.    Two of the smallest states (Connecticut and
Rhode Island) had for their instruments of government the
charters granted by Charles II.   With these they went through
the revolution and into the present century.    The steadiness
of one of them will show how the political habits of small self-
governing bodies can continue the same through several gen-
erations, when there are few changes and no sudden changes
in the structure of society ;  when there is a very general
equality of possessions and nearly all are landowners.    The
charter of Charles II., granted in 1662, provided for electing
a governor, deputy-governor, and twelve assistants, and for
a. meeting twice a year of these officers and of the freemen,
or of not more than two of them selected from each place,
town or city, to be called the general assembly.    The powers
granted to this assembly included the establishment of courts
of justice, the passage of all reasonable laws not contrary to
the laws of England, the administration of oaths, the insti-
tution of a military power, including land and sea-forces,
sufficient for their own defence, free importation and exporta-
tion, subject to duties, customs, or subsidies payable to the
king and his successors.    The right of taxing the inhabitants
for the support of the colonial government seems to have
been regarded as a matter of course, and is not expressly
mentioned, nor is anything directly said in the charter of
the right to establish religion by law, which was fully acted
on some forty-five years afterwards,   although the general
assembly had powers given to it to " dispose " of matters not
mentioned, whereby the inhabitants might be religiously and
civilly governed.     Under this highly popular   government
elections were held for " assistants"  and   representatives