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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

550                               POLITICAL SCIENCE.
character of the nation, but which cannot always continue to
possess the same control. Parties in free states will naturally
be modified by the three causes just named. The constitu-
tional causes will make parties what they are; the events of
the past will generally be looked upon with biasses derived
from constitutional doctrine ; but isolated causes will act so
as to produce a certain inconsistency with the general spirit,
the traditions of party, A most remarkable instance of this
inconsistency was the purchase of Louisiana from France
tinder Mr. Jefferson's administration in 1803. There was
nothing in the constitution which contemplated any such
thing as the purchase of territory, and yet the party of strict
constructionists advocated this measure, while the president,
himself, the strictest of constructionists, contented himself
with expressing the hope that the purchase might be sanc-
tioned by a subsequent change in the constitution. This was
never done, and the precedent thus set has been followed more
than once.
Parties that depend on differences of constitutional doc-
. ration of par- trin^, or on some lasting cause, are often very
ties<                  long-lived, yet the name will often last while
the principles are forgotten. Or, if the principles retain their
vigor on the whole, there will be a progress of parties; one
will seize on some great political principle in advance of the
other, and will carry it out in spite of opposition, so as to in-
corporate it into the lasting policy of the country. This is
the case particularly in constitutions like that of England,
which grow from age to age ; while our written constitution,
being fixed and interpreted by the supreme court of the land,
is far less capable of taking such a step forward. We should
have to make an amendment suited to the new exigence, like
the amendments passed since the war. But in England, the
acts of the convention parliament at the revolution of 1688
would not need to be repeated at a similar crisis, nor would
the Tory party enter as reluctantly into similar measures now
or hereafter. It is safe to lay down the general principle that
old parties can never, in a progressive country, be exactly