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written, as those of the United States and the German Empire. In a state which has a written constitution the word is used not only to indicate the principles of government, but also the document itself.
CONSTITUTION: A fundamental law or basis of government. Story. The fundamental laws of a state, directing the principles upon which the government is founded and regulating the exercise of the sovereign powers. Bouvier.
That by which the powers of government are limited. 1 Va. Cas. 24. WRITTEN CONSTITUTIONS are the product of modern ideas of civil government. Although the Grecian cities and some of the Italian republics possessed written laws in the nature of constitutions, it may be said that the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut," drafted by Thomas Hooker and his friends in 1639 and substantially confirmed by the charter granted by Charles II. in 1662, was the first written constitution providing a complete form of government. And so republican was this instrument that it remained in force for forty years after Connecticut became an independent state.
CLASSIFICATION OF GOVERNMENTS.
Divisions. In considering the different forms of gov ernments there are two general divisions: Single Governments and Confederated or Federal Governments.
A Single Government is that of a single state in which there is a single sovereignty.
A Confederated or Federal Government is that of a Confederacy or Union. A Confederacy or Union is formed by an agreement between two or more single, independent states for mutual protection and benefit, by which each state retains a portion of its sovereign power, but surrenders to the confederacy as much as is necessary to carry out the purposes of the agreement. The word
confederation" is used commonly as a synonym of "confederacy," but in its strict sense the former is the agreement to unite, and the latter the resulting union.
Basis of Classification.-Single Governments are commonly classified according to the character of the sovereignties which they represent.
Classification. From the time of the earliest writers, governments have been divided into three general classes: Monarchies, Aristocracies and Democracies.
These are based, respectively, upon the three general forms of sovereignty-(1) by an individual, (2) by a class of individuals, and (3) by all the members of a state.
1. Monarchies.-A Monarchy is a government by one person, in whom is the sovereignty. The ruler—that is, the individual who governs-is called a monarch, sovereign, king, emperor, etc., while those over whom he rules are called his subjects, and possess no part of the sovereignty. Among these is a certain class of individ uals, termed nobles, who have been granted special priv. ileges by the sovereign. They bear such titles as marquis, earl, viscount, baron, etc., and constitute the nobility or aristocracy of the country.
Principalities and Duchies are small monarchies, whose sovereignties are in princes and dukes.
a. DIVISION AS TO POWER.-Monarchies are divided into two classes: Absolute Monarchies and Limited or Con. stitutional Monarchies.
Absolute Monarchy.-An Absolute Monarchy is one in which the acts of the ruler are unlimited by any principles of government. Such a monarchy is also called an Autocracy—as in the case of Russia, whose ruler is often termed "the Autocrat of All the Russias ". -or a Despotism, when the government is characterized by cruelty or severity. The ruler of a despotism is called. a despot or tyrant.
A Theocracy, a Patriarchal Government and a Government by a Chief are also absolute monarchies.
EXAMPLES.-The Jewish government was a Theocracy; that is, one in which God was the sovereign. Jehovah was the sole and absolute ruler of the nation. The best example of a Patriarchal
Government, in which the head of the family is its sovereign, is that of the Hebrew families before their settlement in Egypt; thus, Abraham and Jacob were each supreme in the governing of their descendants. The Government by a Chief is the most common form among savages. The Indian tribes of America and the Negro tribes (or kingdoms, as they are often called) of Central Africa are familiar examples.
Limited Monarchy.-A Limited or Constitutional Monarchy is one in which the acts of the ruler are limited by a constitution. The limitations upon rulers vary according to the constitutions of the states over which they rule.
EXAMPLES.-Spain, Italy and Holland are examples of Limited Monarchies, while Great Britain shows to what extent the constitution may deprive the monarch of power. In the British Empire the ruler, though theoretically possessing sovereign power, is so limited by the constitution as practically to possess none. The sovereignty is in fact in the English people, and the government is in reality a democracy in the form of a monarchy.
b. DIVISION AS TO SUCCESSION.-Monarchies are also divided into Hereditary and Elective Monarchies. This division is based upon the transfer of the sovereignty from one individual to another.
Hereditary Monarchy.-An Hereditary Monarchy is one in which the sovereignty is inherited by an heir of the monarch upon his death. The rule of inheritance is fixed by custom or the constitution. The usual descent is from the father to the eldest son; and if there is no son, then to the eldest daughter. In many European states there formerly existed what is known as the Salic Law, which prohibited females from ever inheriting the sovereignty.
Elective Monarchy.-An Elective Monarchy is one in
which the sovereignty, upon the death of the ruler, is transferred to another individual, chosen by the people or by a class, in whom the sovereignty rests until the new ruler is chosen. Thus the former kingdom of Poland was an elective monarchy, the right to choose a king belonging to the nobility. Rome, prior to 509 B.C., is another example of this class. So, too, governments by chiefs are usually elective monarchies (though sometimes hereditary), the tribe, the warriors of the tribe, or the heads of families being entitled, upon the death of a chief, to select his successor.
SUMMARY.-A monarchy is then either absolute and hereditary, limited and hereditary, absolute and elective, or limited and elective.
2. Aristocracies.--An Aristocracy is a government by a class of persons, separated from the other members of the state by reason of family, wealth or power. The sovereignty rests equally in the persons of the ruling class. The government within the class is democratic, and for this reason an aristocracy is often classed as a republic.
EXAMPLES.-The so-called Republic of Venice is the best example of an Aristocracy. The sovereignty rested in a few families, and the government was conducted through a council selected by them, who, in turn, chose the Doge and the Council of Ten, who were the actual government. Genoa, and some of the Greek cities about the seventh century before Christ, also had aristocratic governments.
HIERARCHIES.—To this class belong certain church governments called Hierarchies; the churches are composed of the clergy and of lay members, but the sovereignty