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THE ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF GOVERNMENT.
PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT.
Society. If a man did not come in contact and have relations with other men, he might live where he pleased and do what he wished; that is, his actions would be unrestricted, except as he is responsible to God. He is in a state of Natural Liberty. Man, however, has constant intercourse with his fellows, and his actions are affected by or interfere with theirs; thus his freedom to act as he wishes limits or is limited by the freedom of another just so far as their actions conflict. The sole inhabitant of an island would be unrestricted in his action, but two individuals would find circumstances in which their wishes would conflict, and one or the other would have to yield. This relationship is called Society, in which man's Natural Liberty is limited and becomes Civil Liberty.
NATURAL LIBERTY: The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, unless by the law of nature. Blackstone.
CIVIL LIBERTY: Natural Liberty so far restrained by human laws as is necessary and expedient for the public good. Minor. State. As men sustain such relations to one another, those living in one place or region unite for the purpose
of common protection and interest. Such a union is termed a State or Nation, and by some writers a Civil Society. A state is therefore formed upon the principle of coöperation. Thus, a country attacked by enemies would be more successfully defended if the inhabitants united their efforts of resistance than if each attempted to protect only his own dwelling.
STATE; NATION: A body politic, or society of men, united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by the joint efforts of their combined strength. Cooley; Bouvier.
CIVIL SOCIETY: By civil society is usually understood a state, a nation or body politic. Rutherford.
Rights; Sovereignty; Law. In every State every individual possesses certain well-defined powers or privileges, called Rights, which entitle him to conduct himself within certain limits in such a manner as will promote his happiness or profit. Thus, every man is entitled to the rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"; that is, to live and to live as he pleases, to go where he pleases and to act as he pleases, provided he does not interfere with the rights of others. to protect the individual in the exercise of his rights and to limit the actions of each so as to give the greatest freedom to all, certain rules of conduct, called Laws, are necessary. To be effective, these laws must originate from a competent source; and the individual or body of individuals having the supreme power to declare the laws in a state is called its Sovereign.
RIGHT: That, which anyone is entitled to have, or to do or to equire from others within the limits prescribed by law. Kent. Rights are divided into:
A.-Political-The right to take part in the government, such as to vote and hold office.
1-Public-The right of protection by the government. 2—Private—Which grow out of the relations of
Husband and wife,
Parent and child,
Guardian and ward,
Master and servant.
SOVEREIGN: The person, body or state in which independent and supreme authority is vested. Int. Dict.
SOVEREIGNTY: The union and exercise of all human power possessed in a state; it is a combination of all power; it is the power to do everything in a state without accountability. Story.
That public authority which commands in civil society and orders and directs what each is to perform, to obtain the end of its institution. Vattel.
LAW: A rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state. Bouvier.
A rule of life. Maine.
Law in its most general and comprehensive sense signifies a rule of action; and it is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of action, whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. Thus we say, the laws of motion, of gravitation, of optics or mechanics, as well as the law of nature and of nations. And it is that rule of action which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey. Blackstone. When Law is applied to any other object than man, it ceases to contain two of its essential ingredients, disobedience and punishment. Tomlins.
Government.-A law will not accomplish its purpose unless all the individuals in a state, to whom it applies, obey it in the same way; and this equal obedience is, therefore, compelled by the sovereign, or representatives of the sovereign. The province of a sovereign is, then, to make and enforce, directly or indirectly, the
laws of a state; and this act is termed government. The word "government" is used not only to express the acts of sovereignty, but also the agents by means of which the sovereign performs these acts. Thus, in the United States the sovereignty is vested in the people; the President, Congress and Courts are the instruments to execute the sovereign's will, and are called "the Government.”
GOVERNMENT (first sense): The control, direction and regulation of public or private affairs. Am. & Eng. Ency. of Law.
GOVERNMENT (second sense): That institution or aggregate of institutions by which a state makes and carries out those rules of action which are necessary to enable men to live in a social state, or which are imposed upon the people forming a state. Bouvier.
Powers of Government.-As the sovereign's power is supreme, a government's duties can be determined and its authority limited only by the sovereign; and a government, being the representative of the sovereign, has power over the life, liberty and property of every individual in the state; but this sovereign power can be justly exercised only under certain conditions.
The conditions under which a government may justly deprive him of these rights are:
1. When a person wrongfully interferes with another's rights, the government may compel him to forfeit a part or all of his own rights. All disobedience to the laws is such an interference; and the forfeiture imposed by the government is termed Punishment.
2. When the state is in danger, the government may require the life, liberty or property of any member of the state. In case of war the enforced service in the army (called conscription or draft) and the taking and using an individual's property without his consent and
without paying him for it (called confiscation) are examples.
The rights of a state to preserve social order and to protect itself are superior to the rights of any individual member.
Branches of Government.-A government, whatever its form may be, executes the will of the sovereign by the exercise of three distinct functions, known as Legislative, Judicial and Executive.
The Legislative function consists in making laws; that is, in announcing the sovereign will in regard to any matter.
The Judicial function consists in interpreting the laws in their application to individual cases.
The Executive function consists in enforcing the laws. These distinct functions may be exercised by the gov ernment as a whole, or by two or three separate branches, which are named after the functions which they perform.
In nearly all states the executive head selects men to act as advisers and to share in the duties of enforcing the sovereign's will. These advisers are called a Council of State, a Ministry, or a Cabinet. In some states, as in England, this advisory body is substantially a committee of the dominant party in the legislative branch and possesses the executive authority. In such cases the Ministry is termed the "Government."
Constitution. A government's authority may be limited and defined by certain principles, which have been declared or accepted by the sovereign. These principles of government are termed a Constitution. Constitutions are either unwritten, as that of Great Britain, or