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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

CONFEDERATIONS.                                2$ 5
over, the founders of the government were led to a govern-
ment under a president with very extensive civil, military, and .
international powers, who commands the army, has a nega-
tive on laws of congress when less than two-thirds have passed
them, has vast appointing powers exercised with the consent
of the senate or without asking their advice, and has all power
of advising the national legislature and of watching over the
subordinate officers, as well as of removing them for cause.
No presiding officer in a democratic confederation ever had
in time of peace such extensive powers before ; he holds them
for four years, with the possibility of re-election ; and since the
constitution was framed they have greatly increased in im-
portance ; indeed, the appointing power has grown to many
times what it was when the republic was young. It is the
peculiarity of this power that it is personal, not official, like
that of an English sovereign, exercised almost entirely through
the prime minister. Thus, if the majority should change in
the country and in congress, he has an independent position :
he has power enough to oppose the sentiment in congress
and in the country, to stand in the highest place as the forlorn
hope of his party, and take measures to continue them in the
possession of the government. He is thus essentially and of
necessity a man of a party. I shall discuss this position,
given to an American president, when I consider party and
party government in free states. At present it may be well
to answer the question whether, under an officer with such
high prerogatives, consolidation is not possible ; whether, as
the extensive authority of the consuls at Rome helped on the
transition to the empire, there may not lie, in the germ, in
this high officer of the United States, a future democratic
emperor, the most hateful of all forms of official rule. To
deny the possibility of this would be folly. Any political
ruin is possible in the decay of morality, the loss of religion
and the rise of new interests unknown to a state at its begin-
ning. But here the states' powers, which must be overthrown
in order that such a princedom may arise, are our safety;
.and at present there is no sign of their giving way, nor of