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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

DEPARTMENTS  OF  GOVERNMENT IN A  STATE.        263
hands of one of the other powers. This would, of course,
give greater relative strength to the executive, and some
checks or other would arise, if a people were alarmed at the
danger of usurpation or tyranny. The doctrine of the inde-
pendence of the powers would be one such check, as far as
public feeling was concerned ; that is, the nation would feel
that a wrong and a usurpation was committed when this inde-
pendence was attacked, and would the more readily take the
part of the invaded body. But must there not be some other
checks and constitutional provisions for securing the indepen-
dence of the weaker or more assailable departments ? The
experience of ancient states and of modern, especially within
the states belonging to the Anglican race, has decided that
there must be. What they are we shall see ere long. We
only say here that the control over the purse and the sword,
so as never to let it go out of their hands for long periods,
is a principal one for the stability of the law-making power.
As for the judiciary, a long history of endeavors to keep it in
subservience to the crown in England, shows how naturally an
executive seeks to engross or to recover power, and the pro-
vision that the judges should hold office during good behavior
was essential to the security of those liberties which were
gained or saved in England by the downfall of the Stuarts.
Perfect independence, however, and perfect separation of
But perfect mde- functions are neither easy in practice nor desira-
powtrsisn^tdSir. ble- Thus, a legislature and a court ought to
able nor possible. havethe power of arresting for disorders within
their halls of session, which is an executive office, and the
former, that of deciding in cases of disputed elections, which
is of a judicial nature. In our constitutions the high power
of impeaching any public office even up to the highest, is
lodged in the legislature, the lower house presenting, and the
upper trying, as a high court of impeachment. This was
without doubt copied after the constitution of the British
parliament, but had an independent caste given to it in the
general constitution by confining the consequence%of a ver-
dict against the accused to removal from office. This, again,