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DIVISIONS OF GOVERNMENT IN A REPUBLIC. 1. Legislative, by Representatives elected by People. 2. Executive, by President elected by {

3. Judicial, by Judges {


elected by People.
appointed by Executive.





The Anglo-Saxons. The principle of civil liberty, which is the important element in our system of government, was already strongly developed among the Angles and Saxons when they conquered England in the fifth century. They were believers in the rights and powers of the individual. They elected their own chiefs and had a voice in the government of their clans. Under their rulo the people in their various councils made laws and treaties, levied some taxes, raised land and sea forces, and exercised many other legislative and also judicial powers. These powers, although modified by changing conditions, became firmly settled under the successive Saxon kings in the form in which they are historically known as the "Laws of Edward the Confessor."

Effect of Norman Conquest.--The Norman conquest wrought a change. The conquerors did not possess the Saxon ideas of liberty and equality. To them the king was the state and source of all law, and in the confusion of this change in ideas of government there followed con

fiscation of property, oppressive laws, and the practical enslavement of the conquered people through the introduction of Feudalism.

These conditions continued during the reigns of "The Conqueror" and William II. But Henry I., fearing the effect of popular discontent, promised by a "Charter of Liberties," granted in 1101, to restore in part the "Laws of Edward the Confessor." This Charter is important as the first limitation upon the powers of the


Magna Charta.-A century later (June 15, 1215) the great instrument of English liberty, known as Magna Charta, was wrung from King John by the people and nobles, who had revolted against his despotic rule. Of the sixty-three provisions of this great document, those which are important in the study of our government are the following:

TAXES.-No scutage* or aid+ shall be imposed in our kingdom unless by the general council of our kingdom; except for ransoming our person, making our eldest son a knight and once for marrying our eldest daughter;

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GENERAL COUNCIL.—And for holding the general council of the kingdom concerning the assessment of aids we shall cause to be summoned the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and greater barons of the realm, singly by our letters. And furthermore, we shall cause to be summoned generally others who hold of us in chief, for a certain day a certain place; and in all letters of such summons we will declare the cause of such summons.

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By these provisions the taxing power was placed in

*SCUTAGE: Tax imposed instead of military service.
AID: Feudal tax paid by the vassal to his lord.

the people, and definite means were prescribed for its exercise.

PERSONAL RIGHTS.-No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised* or outlawed, or banished, or anyways destroyed, nor will we pass upon him, nor will we send upon him, unless by the lawful judgment of his peerst or by the law of the land.

We will sell to no man, we will not deny to any man, either justice or right.

A freeman shall not be amerced‡ for a small offense, but only according to the degree of the offense; and for a great crime according to the heinousness of it.

These provisions were to protect the subject in his personal freedom by guaranteeing that punishments should be proportionate to the enormity of the crime.

PROPERTY RIGHTS.-Neither shall we nor our bailiffs take any man's timber for our castles or other uses, unless by the consent of the owner of the timber.

This provision was intended to protect the subject in his property, and is so manifestly just that it has continued in force to the present day.

House of Commons.-The next development in popu lar government was the establishment of the House of Commons, which, like Magna Charta, was the result of a conflict between the king and the barons, in which the latter were successful. Henry III. and his son having been taken prisoners, the government passed temporarily into the hands of Simon de Montfort, the leader of the rebels, who, to strengthen himself, summoned a parlia

*DISSEISED: Unlawfully deprived of property.

PEERS: Equals, of the same rank.

AMERCED: Punished at the discretion of a court.

ment (1265), in which he gave seats not only to those entitled to them under Magna Charta, but also to two representatives from each town or borough. This was the first House of Commons, the representative body of the common people. The example thus set was not immediately followed. But in 1295 Edward I., in order to obtain supplies for wars in France and Scotland, summoned a parliament, to which he called "two burghers from every city, borough and liege-town to sit with the nobles and barons," stating in the summons that “what concerns all should be approved by all." This was the permanent establishment of the House of Commons.

Rights of Colonists in America. These were the governmental rights to which Englishmen were entitled at the time of the colonization of America, and to these rights, as also to those subsequently granted, the settlers in America became entitled as fully as the inhabitants of London or other English towns. For in the charter under which the Plymouth and London Companies were organized the king stated that the colonists and their descendants should

have and enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunities of free denizens and natural subjects, within any of our other dominions, to all intents and purposes as if they had been abiding and born within this our realm of England, or in any other of our dominions.

Habeas Corpus Act. Of the rights subsequently granted, but two will be noticed. First, the Habeas Corpus Act. From the time of Magna Charta it had been a principle of law that a prisoner could demand from a court an order, or writ, compelling his jailer to produce him before

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