Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

. CONFEDERATIONS.                                  223

founded, nor shall those already suppressed be established
anew" (Arts. 51, 52). The death-penalty is abolished (Art
65). The laws passed by the federal chambers or councils
are proposed to the people for their acceptance or rejection,
if the demand is made by 30,000 active citizens, or by eight
cantons. The same step may be taker in regard to federal
resolutions which have a general bearing, and are not urgent
in their character (Art. 89;.

The Swiss federal constitutions all seem to dread placing
power in the hands of one man. There is no president,
properly speaking, although the presiding officer of the bun-
desratk is called president of the confederation. Appointing
power falls chiefly to the two legislative bodies, and in so
small a country, happily, this power can not be a dangerous
part of the political system. Several branches of legislation
are taken away from the cantons and given to the federal
legislature, which under our constitution are retained by the
states. Such are the laws involving control over telegraphs,
the manufacture and sale of gunpowder, the right of marriage
(including, it must be, the questions relating to divorce),
and sanitary legislation. Bankruptcy is exclusively within
the province of the federal laws. The plan of giving legis-
lation to the general government in matters of a general,
almost international character, such as marriage, guardianship,
divorce, etc. , is excellent and might be carried further, so as
to include all the branches of international private law. On
the other hand, the withholding from the federal government
of an effective military power seems to be a great weakening
of its attributions.

The Dutch  United Provinces,
The instrument which brought together the seven united
TT   L    .       provinces of the Netherlands was the union of
Utrecht union.      t.           ,                             .  ,        ,                        ,                     ,
Utrecht, contracted by deputies and representa-
tives from the estates of the duchy of Guelders, and the
county of Zutphen in Guelderland, by Holland, Zeeland,