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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

DEPARTMENTS  OF  GOVERNMENT IN A STATE.       309
men who desired to have a representation in the senate pro-
portional to the population of the states, but hitherto the sen-
ate has maintained itself in the confidence of the people as
one of the best parts of the constitution.
Another most important characteristic of the senate is, that,
unlike most chambers elected by the people, the members'
terms expire on such a plan that one-third is recruited every
two years. This gives a certain slowness of movement to the
body, and a permanence of life, which stand in antagonism
to the other branch of the legislature, and break the force of
parties or of novel opinion by an earlier or a more mature opin-
ion. The tenure of a senator's place for six years gives a
longer experience to this house ; and their position, as advis-
ers of the president, and as having the power to reject his
nominations, invests them with a vast influence, something
like that of oligarchy, which was unforeseen at the forming
of the constitution.
The other upper or second chambers of modern constitu-
tional governments, so far as they had no historical, but rather
an artificial foundation, suggest several inquiries touching the
principle on which this part of the legislature should be
founded. And first, is it wise or politic, when such a legisla-
tive house has not come down from olden time, to introduce
it in the shape of an aristocracy. Montesquieu thought that
the existence of rich, powerful families, with a historic name,
demanded that a special representation should be given to
them, or they would become enemies of the established state
of things. Mr. Guizot held the same opinion. There is a
class, he says, living on the revenues of their lands or person-
al property, and another, of men living on their labor with-
(out land or capital. Each of these essential elements of every
|society needs a distinct representation, otherwise one would
' be sacrificed to the other, and things would end in plunder or
anarchy.*
Shall we then say, as M. Laveleye remarks, that the contest
* Cited by Laveleye, u. s., chap. 30.