(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"

274                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
him from using the only instrument of legal defence he
could have,—the risk of organizing civil war between the two
powers of the government and of provoking an appeal to
force, of giving rise to a necessity that one should suppress
the other. But it may be asked, our author continues,
whether the president should not govern by ministers. To
this he replies that the irresponsibility of such an office
created by election is inconsistent with its origin and nature,
so that his impotence would imperil the parliamentary gov-
ernment. It is the hereditary character of monarchy which
gives rise to the axiom that the king' can do no wrong. An
elected president represents the nation as much, if not more,
than a legislative assembly—he being chosen by all, while the
several members of that are chosen by fractions of the people.
If then, being a representative of popular sovereignty, he is
reduced to the condition of a faineant king, will he not be
the more ready to burst the constitutional chains that bind
him ? " We know, moreover, by what very simple process
the president's chair turns into the imperial throne." The
English system, then, is not applicable to a republic. The
prerogatives of a constitutional king are at once insufficient
for the president of a republic, and are dangerous in his hands.
There is need of an intermediate power to prevent conflicts
between the legislature and the president, whose duty it must
be to keep the two within their legal bounds.
This the Americans have sought to do by placing the
senate between the house of representatives and the execu-
tive elected by the nation, armed with the veto and govern-
ing in person by irresponsible ministers who are not mem-
bers of congress^ The power of impeachment by the house,
before the senate, our author thinks, is not illusory ; and the
senate on this and, other accounts is the key-stone of the
American system, answering to the right of dissolution in
Great Britain. This, and the power of the supreme court in
guarding and interpreting the constitution, are sufficient for
securing the agreement of the constitutional powers in the
United States. But would they answer the same purpose in