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$25, or an interest in one equivalent to it; or, 2d, a reversionary interest of $50 in value; or 3d, a leasehold estate of the annual value of $200, or to have been a householder for twelve months, and to have been assessed, and paid a state tax.
§ 500. In most of the states, the qualifications are so low that the right of suffrage, in reality, is universal among all.whites above twenty-one years of
In some of the states, as New-York, free colored persons vote.
§ 501. The next point upon which there are differences among the states is in relation to the judiciary. We have already seen that, in the great feature of a Supreme Court and inferior courts, they all agree. In respect to other courts, there is a variance.
§ 502. Thus, the states of New-York, New-Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South-Carolina, and Mississippi have Courts of Chancery: in all the rest, Chancery powers are vested in the courts of Common Law.
§ 503. Many of the states, as Massachusetts and Connecticut, have Courts of Probate; in others, as NewYork, the probate duties are performed by the Surrogate, an officer appointed for that purpose; in others, as Ohio, the duties of a Court of Probate are attached to the Court of Common Pleas. In Louisiana, the parish judge performs these duties.
$ 504. These are the chief points upon which the state governments differ. In all, however, there is the same form, and the same principles lie at the foundations.
§ 505. In the institutions and codes of law adopted and enacted in the different states for the government of society, there is some difference. In most of the states, especially the old ones, the Common Law, as existing prior to the Revolution, has been entirely adopted. In those states, the courts have common law jurisdiction,
as well of crimes and offences as in civil suits. There the Common Law, the statutes of the Legislature, such particular customs as are acknowledged by the courts, and the laws of the United States, make up the body of laws in force. In other states, as Ohio and several of the new states, the Common Law is adopted only, so far as is consistent with the usages and condition of the people; how far it is so, is 'adjudged by the courts. Here criminal offences at Common Law do not exist. There are no crimes or misdemeanors but such as are found on the statute book. In Connecticut or NewYork, a person may be indicted for keeping a nuisance, and many similar misdemeanors, at Common Law, while in Ohio he cannot be, because the statute has not made such acts criminal.
§ 506. In Louisiana, the Civil Law prevails; the Common Law is not adopted there.
There are some other minor differences in the government and laws of the several states, but these are the chief.
THE NATURE, PRINCIPLES, AND RELATIONS OF THE
GENERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS.
§ 507. We have already examined, step by step, the provisions of the Constitution, and the constructions which have been placed upon doubtful points by the tribunals and constituted authorities of the country; but every government is of a certain nature, dependent upon the forms of its administration; and every government has certain principles inherent in itself, and upon
which it subsists; in our government, is superadded to these,
the peculiar relations of the federative system. To understand these properly, we must go over clearly, and separately the fundamental propositions upon which the government depends. In doing this, we shall endeavor to establish them both by the Constitution itself, and the fixed principles of political law.
§ 508. PROPOSITION 1st. The Government of the United States is a Republic.
By our seventh definition, a republic is that form of government in which the whole people, or only a part of the people, hold sovereign power, and by the preamble to the Constitution, we see that the government of the United States was formed by “we the people;" by Art. 1, Sect. 1, of the Constitution, we find that all legislative power is vested in a Congress; and by Sect. 2d, that Congress is chosen by the people; bence it appears from the Constitution that the people of the United States hold sovereign power;. the
government is therefore a republic.
§ 509... PROPOSITION 2D. The Government of the United States is a Federative Republic. For we find in every article of the Constitution the recognition of states; by Article 1st, Sect. 2d, these states are represented in Congress in proportion to their respective numbers; by Sect. 3d, that these states have an equal representation in the Senate; by Art. 4, Sect.. 2d, that these states have citizens; by Sect. 3d, that new states may be admitted into the Union; by Sect. 4, that the United States guarantee to these states a republican government; hence the United States is a Federative Republic, composed of states.
§ 510. PROPOSITION 3D. The Government of the United States is a Democratic Federate Republic.
By Definition 8th, a democracy is where the sovereign power is in the hands of the whole people. By Art. 1, Sect. 1, of the Constitution, the legislative power is vested in a Congress, composed of a Senate and House
of Representatives; by Sect. 2d, the representatives are chosen by the people, and the electors have the same qualifications as are necessary for the most numerous branch of the state legislatures; by Sect. 3d, the Senate is chosen by the state legislatures; and by Art. 2d, Sect. 1, the executive is chosen by electors appointed in such manner as the state legislatures may direct; hence, both legislative and executive branches of the government are chosen by the people, and the electors have the qualifications necessary for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures; by reference to the state constitutions, we find, that the electors for the most numerous branch of the state legislature are substantially the whole body of the people; hence, the government of the United States is a democracy, and as it is, by former propositions, a federative republic, it is a democratic federative republic.
$ 511. PROPOSITION 4TH. The Democracy of the United States is a Representative Democracy.
By Art. 1, Sect. 2d, the representatives are chosen, &c. By Sect. 3d, the Senate is chosen by the legislature; and, by reference to the state constitutions it will be seen, the legislatures are chosen by the people; by Art. 2d, Sect. 1st, the executive is chosen by electors, appointed in such manner as the legislature may direct. By Art. 2d, Sect. 2d, the judiciary is appointed by the President and Senate; hence all the branches of the government are directly or indirectly chosen by the people; and hence the government is a representative democracy.
$ 512. PROPOSITION 5TH. The foundation of the gooernment is the consent of the people.
In the Declaration of Independence, it is laid down that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and the preamble to the Constitution asserts that it was formed by 6 we the people." The ratifications of all the states commence with «We
the delegates of the people;" hence the Constitution is, as it purports to be, founded only on the consent of the people.
§ 513. PROPOSITION 6TH. The sanction of the government is responsibility to the people.
By Art. 1, Sect. 2d, of the Constitution, the representatives are chosen every second year; hence they are, at the end of that time, directly amenable to the people; in addition to which, each individual member is liable to expulsion by the whole; by Art. 2d, Sect. 1st, the executive is chosen every four years, and is therefore likewise responsible to the people at the end of that time; by Art. 1, Sect. 3, he may be impeached, and by the votes of two-thirds of the Senate, removed from office for treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemean
He is, therefore, both directly and indirectly responsible to the people. By Art. 2d, Sect. 2d, the President, in conjunction with the Senate, has the power of appointing ambassadors, judges, and all other superior officers; and by the declaration of Congress, and the practical construction of the Constitution,' he has also the power of removing them; these officers, consequently, are all of them directly responsible to the President, and by Art. 1st, Sect. 2d, they may also be impeached; they are, therefore, responsible to the people through the President, and likewise by impeachment. The judiciary is the only part of the government not directly responsible to the President; but they are indirectly; for, by Art. 2d, Sect. 2d, they are appointed by the President, who is himself responsible, and by Art. 1st, Sect. 2d, they may be impeached by the representatives of the people, who hold the sole power of impeachment; all branches of the government, therefore, and all its officers, are made responsible to the people; hence, the sanction of the government is responsibility to the people.
1 Chapter 2, Section 312.