Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
By John J. Lalor
NEITHER American nor English literature has hitherto possessed a Cyclopædia of Political Science and Political Economy. The want of a work of reference on these important branches of knowledge has long been felt, especially by lawyers, journalists, members of our state and national legislatures, and the large and intelligent class of capitalists and business men who give serious thought to the political and social questions of the day. The present work, which will be completed in three volumes, is the first to supply that want. It is also the first Political History of the United States in encyclopædic form—the first to which the reader can refer for an account of the important events or facts in our political history, as he would to a dictionary for the precise meaning of a word. The French, the Germans and even the Italians are richer in works of reference on political science and political economy than the Americans or the English. The Germans have Rotteck and Welcker’s
Staatslexikon, and Bluntschli and Brater’s
Staatswörterbuch; the French, Block’s
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, and the celebrated
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, edited by Guillaumin and Coquelin.The “Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States” is intended to be to the American and English reader what the above-named works are to French and German students of political science and political economy. The articles by foreigners in our work are largely translations from the
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, the
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, the
Staatswörterbuch, and original articles by Mr. T. E. Cliffe Leslie, the eminent English economist; while the American articles are by the best American and Canadian writers on political economy and political science. The task of writing the articles on the political history of the United States was confided to one person, Mr. Alexander Johnston, of Norwalk, Connecticut, thoroughness, conciseness and the absence of repetition and of redundancy being thus secured…. [From the Preface]
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Originally printed in 3 volumes. Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
The text of this edition is in the public domain.
- V.1, Entry 1, ABDICATION
- V.1, Entry 2, ABOLITION AND ABOLITIONISTS
- V.1, Entry 3, ABSENTEEISM
- V.1, Entry 4, ABSOLUTE POWER
- V.1, Entry 5, ABSOLUTISM
- V.1, Entry 6, ABSTENTION
- V.1, Entry 7, ABUSES IN POLITICS
- V.1, Entry 8, ABYSSINIA
- V.1, Entry 9, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 10, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 11, ACCLAMATION
- V.1, Entry 12, ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH
- V.1, Entry 13, ACT
- V.1, Entry 14, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 15, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 16, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 17, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 18, ADJOURNMENT
- V.1, Entry 19, ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 20, ADMINISTRATIONS
- V.1, Entry 21, AFRICA
- V.1, Entry 22, AGE
- V.1, Entry 23, AGENT
- V.1, Entry 24, AGENTS
- V.1, Entry 25, AGIO
- V.1, Entry 26, AGIOTAGE
- V.1, Entry 27, AGRICULTURE
- V.1, Entry 28, ALABAMA
- V.1, Entry 29, ALABAMA CLAIMS
- V.1, Entry 30, ALASKA
- V.1, Entry 31, ALBANY PLAN OF UNION
- V.1, Entry 32, ALBANY REGENCY
- V.1, Entry 33, ALCALDE
- V.1, Entry 34, ALCOHOL
- V.1, Entry 35, ALGERIA
- V.1, Entry 36, ALGERINE WAR
- V.1, Entry 37, ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS
- V.1, Entry 38, ALIENS
- V.1, Entry 39, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 40, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 41, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 42, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 43, ALLOYAGE
- V.1, Entry 44, ALMANACH DE GOTHA
- V.1, Entry 45, ALSACE-LORRAINE
- V.1, Entry 46, AMBASSADOR
- V.1, Entry 47, AMBITION
- V.1, Entry 48, AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- V.1, Entry 49, AMERICA
- V.1, Entry 50, AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE
- V.1, Entry 51, AMERICAN PARTY
- V.1, Entry 52, AMERICAN WHIGS
- V.1, Entry 53, AMES
- V.1, Entry 54, AMISTAD CASE
- V.1, Entry 55, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 56, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 57, ANAM
- V.1, Entry 58, ANARCHY
- V.1, Entry 59, ANCIEN RÉGIME
- V.1, Entry 60, ANDORRA
- V.1, Entry 61, ANHALT
- V.1, Entry 62, ANNEXATION
- V.1, Entry 63, ANNEXATIONS
- V.1, Entry 64, ANTI-FEDERAL PARTY
- V.1, Entry 65, ANTI-MASONRY
- V.1, Entry 66, ANTI-NEBRASKA MEN
- V.1, Entry 67, ANTI-RENTERS
- V.1, Entry 68, ANTI-SLAVERY.
- V.1, Entry 69, APPORTIONMENT
- V.1, Entry 70, APPROPRIATION.
- V.1, Entry 71, APPROPRIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 72, ARBITRAGE
- V.1, Entry 73, ARBITRARY ARRESTS
- V.1, Entry 74, ARBITRARY POWER
- V.1, Entry 75, ARBITRATION
- V.1, Entry 76, ARCHONS
- V.1, Entry 77, AREOPAGUS.
- V.1, Entry 78, ARGENTINE CONFEDERATION
- V.1, Entry 79, ARISTOCRACY.
- V.1, Entry 80, ARISTOCRATIC AND DEMOCRATIC IDEAS.
- V.1, Entry 81, ARITHMETIC
- V.1, Entry 82, ARIZONA
- V.1, Entry 83, ARKANSAS
- V.1, Entry 84, ARMISTICE
- V.1, Entry 85, ARMIES
- V.1, Entry 86, ARMY
- V.1, Entry 87, ARTHUR
- V.1, Entry 88, ARTISANS
- V.1, Entry 89, ARYAN RACES.
- V.1, Entry 90, ASIA
- V.1, Entry 91, ASSEMBLY (IN U. S. HISTORY)
- V.1, Entry 92, ASSESSMENTS
- V.1, Entry 93, ASSIGNATS
- V.1, Entry 94, ASSOCIATION AND ASSOCIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 95, ASYLUM
- V.1, Entry 96, ATELIERS NATIONAUX
- V.1, Entry 97, ATTAINDER
- V.1, Entry 98, ATTORNEYS GENERAL
- V.1, Entry 99, AUSTRALIA
- V.1, Entry 100, AUSTRIA-HUNGARY
- V.1, Entry 101, AUTHORITY
- V.1, Entry 102, AUTHORS
- V.1, Entry 103, AUTOCRAT
- V.1, Entry 104, AUTONOMY.
- V.1, Entry 105, AYES AND NOES
- V.1, Entry 106, BADEN
- V.1, Entry 107, BALANCE OF POWER
- V.1, Entry 108, BALANCE OF TRADE
- V.1, Entry 109, BALLOT
- V.1, Entry 110, BANK CONTROVERSIES
- V.1, Entry 111, BANKING
- V.1, Entry 112, BANK NOTES.
- V.1, Entry 113, BANKRUPTCY.
- V.1, Entry 114, BANKRUPTCY, National.
- V.1, Entry 115, BANKS.
- V.1, Entry 116, BANKS, Functions of.
- V.1, Entry 117, BANKS OF ISSUE
- V.1, Entry 118, BANKS, Advantages of Savings.
- V.1, Entry 119, BANKS, History and Management of Savings,
- V.1, Entry 120, BAR
- V.1, Entry 121, BARNBURNERS
- V.1, Entry 122, BARRICADE
- V.1, Entry 123, BARTER.
- V.1, Entry 124, BASTILLE
- V.1, Entry 125, BAVARIA
- V.1, Entry 126, BELGIUM
- V.1, Entry 127, BELL
- V.1, Entry 128, BELLIGERENTS
- V.1, Entry 129, BENTON
- V.1, Entry 130, BERLIN DECREE
- V.1, Entry 131, BILL
- V.1, Entry 132, BILL OF EXCHANGE
- V.1, Entry 133, BILL OF RIGHTS
- V.1, Entry 134, BILLION
- V.1, Entry 135, BILLS
- V.1, Entry 136, BI-METALLISM.
- V.1, Entry 137, BIRNEY
- V.1, Entry 138, BLACK COCKADE
- V.1, Entry 139, BLACK CODE.
- V.1, Entry 140, BLACK REPUBLICAN.
- V.1, Entry 141, BLAINE
- V.1, Entry 142, BLAIR
- V.1, Entry 143, BLOCKADE
- V.1, Entry 144, BLOODY BILL
- V.1, Entry 145, BLUE LAWS
- V.1, Entry 146, BLUE LIGHT
- V.1, Entry 147, BOARD OF TRADE.
- V.1, Entry 148, BOLIVIA
- V.1, Entry 149, BOOTY
- V.1, Entry 150, BORDER RUFFIANS
- V.1, Entry 151, BORDER STATES
- V.1, Entry 152, BOURGEOISIE
- V.1, Entry 153, BOUTWELL
- V.1, Entry 154, BRAHMANISM.
- V.1, Entry 155, BRAZIL
- V.1, Entry 156, BRECKENRIDGE
- V.1, Entry 157, BROAD SEAL WAR
- V.1, Entry 158, BROKERS
- V.1, Entry 159, BROOKS
- V.1, Entry 160, BROWN
- V.1, Entry 161, BUCHANAN
- V.1, Entry 162, BUCKSHOT WAR
- V.1, Entry 163, BUCKTAILS
- V.1, Entry 164, BUDDHISM
- V.1, Entry 165, BUDGET
- V.1, Entry 166, BULL
- V.1, Entry 167, BUNDESRATH
- V.1, Entry 168, BUREAUCRACY
- V.1, Entry 169, BURGESSES
- V.1, Entry 170, BURLINGAME
- V.1, Entry 171, BURR
- V.1, Entry 172, BUTLER, Benj. F.
- V.1, Entry 173, BUTLER, William Orlando
- V.1, Entry 174, CACHET
- V.1, Entry 175, CÆSARISM
- V.1, Entry 176, CALENDAR
- V.1, Entry 177, CALHOUN
- V.1, Entry 178, CALIFORNIA
- V.1, Entry 179, CANADA
- V.1, Entry 180, CANALS
- V.1, Entry 181, CANON LAW
- V.1, Entry 182, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 183, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 184, CAPITULATION
- V.1, Entry 185, CARICATURE
- V.1, Entry 186, CARPET BAGGERS
- V.1, Entry 187, CARTEL
- V.1, Entry 188, CASS
- V.1, Entry 189, CASUS BELLI
- V.1, Entry 190, CAUCUS
- V.1, Entry 191, CAUCUS SYSTEM
- V.1, Entry 192, CAUSE AND EFFECT IN POLITICS.
- V.1, Entry 193, CELIBACY, Clerical
- V.1, Entry 194, CELIBACY, Political Aspects of.
- V.1, Entry 195, CELTS.
- V.1, Entry 196, CENSURE.
- V.1, Entry 197, CENSURE OF MORALS.
- V.1, Entry 198, CENSURES
- V.1, Entry 199, CENSUS.
- V.1, Entry 200, CENTRALIZATION and DECENTRALIZATION.
- V.1, Entry 201, CEREMONIAL
- V.1, Entry 202, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 203, CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES.
- V.1, Entry 204, CHARITY, Private.
- V.1, Entry 205, CHARITY, Public.
- V.1, Entry 206, CHARITY, State.
- V.1, Entry 207, CHASE
- V.1, Entry 208, CHECKS AND BALANCES.
- V.1, Entry 209, CHEROKEE CASE
- V.1, Entry 210, CHESAPEAKE CASE.
- V.1, Entry 211, CHILI.
- V.1, Entry 212, CHINA
- V.1, Entry 213, CHINESE IMMIGRATION.
- V.1, Entry 214, CHIVALRY.
- V.1, Entry 215, CHRISTIANITY.
- V.1, Entry 216, CHURCH AND STATE
- V.1, Entry 217, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 218, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 219, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 220, CHURCHES AND RELIGIONS
- V.1, Entry 221, CHURCHES
- V.1, Entry 222, CINCINNATI
- V.1, Entry 223, CIPHER DISPATCHES AND DECIPHERMENT
- V.1, Entry 224, CIRCULATION OF WEALTH.
- V.1, Entry 225, CITIES
- V.1, Entry 226, CITIES AND TOWNS.
- V.1, Entry 227, CIVIL ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 228, CIVIL LIST.
- V.1, Entry 229, CIVIL RIGHTS BILL
- V.1, Entry 230, CIVIL SERVICE REFORM
- V.1, Entry 231, CIVILIZATION
- V.1, Entry 232, CLAY
- V.1, Entry 233, CLEARING, AND CLEARING HOUSES
- V.1, Entry 234, CLERICALISM
- V.1, Entry 235, CLIENTÈLE AND CUSTOM
- V.1, Entry 236, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 237, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 238, CLINTON
- V.1, Entry 239, CLINTON, George
- V.1, Entry 240, CL�TURE
- V.1, Entry 241, COASTING TRADE
- V.1, Entry 242, COCHIN CHINA
- V.1, Entry 243, COINAGE
- V.1, Entry 244, COLFAX
- V.1, Entry 245, COLONIZATION SOCIETY
- V.1, Entry 246, COLORADO
- V.1, Entry 247, COLOMBIA
- V.1, Entry 248, COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 249, COMMERCIAL CRISES
- V.1, Entry 250, COMMISSION
- V.1, Entry 251, COMMITTEES
- V.1, Entry 252, COMMON LAW
- V.1, Entry 253, COMMONS
- V.1, Entry 254, COMMUNE
- V.1, Entry 255, COMMUNISM
- V.1, Entry 256, COMPETITION.
- V.1, Entry 257, COMPROMISES
- V.1, Entry 258, COMPULSORY CIRCULATION
- V.1, Entry 259, COMPULSORY EDUCATION
- V.1, Entry 260, CONCESSION
- V.1, Entry 261, CONCLAVE.
- V.1, Entry 262, CONCLUSUM
- V.1, Entry 284, CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
- V.1, Entry 301, CONVENTION
- V.1, Entry 375, DISTILLED SPIRITS
- V.1, Entry 384, DOMINION OF CANADA
- V.2, Entry 7, EDUCATION
- V.2, Entry 18, EMBARGO
- V.2, Entry 33, EXCHANGE
- V.2, Entry 35, EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS
- V.2, Entry 37, EXCHANGE OF WEALTH
- V.2, Entry 121, GREAT BRITAIN
- V.2, Entry 130, HABEAS CORPUS
- V.2, Entry 180, INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION
- V.2, Entry 225, JUSTICE, Department of
- V.2, Entry 246, LAW
- V.2, Entry 364, NEW GRANADA
- V.2, Entry 379, NULLIFICATION
- V.3, Entry 4, OCEANICA
- V.3, Entry 29, PARIS MONETARY CONFERENCE
- V.3, Entry 32, PARLIAMENTARY LAW.
- V.3, Entry 116, RACES OF MANKIND
- V.3, Entry 137, REPUBLICAN PARTY
- V.3, Entry 155, ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
- V.3, Entry 195, SLAVERY
- V.3, Entry 278, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- V. 2, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of American Writers
CHECKS AND BALANCES. This term of modern political language finds a place only in the vocabulary of mixed governments, and even, more properly speaking, only of free governments. It is applied to the equilibrium which, for the proper conduct of public affairs and the liberty of the citizen, should be established between the different powers by means of the constitutional definition of their rights and the limitation of their functions.
—A distribution of powers is to be met with, to a greater or less degree, in all governments which are not based upon the autocratic principle. For if certain classes of the citizens are oppressed by discriminating laws and exposed to penalties not pronounced by judicial magistrates; if the peers, instead of being placed under the régime of law, can be attacked by administrative decrees; if the nation does not enjoy full liberty of representation, all powers are confused and the country is deprived of the most essential guarantees of its liberty.
—We must, therefore, regard the proper separation of powers as the first condition of liberty, and the just equilibrium of power as the only means of preventing liberty from degenerating into license and anarchy, or from being destroyed by despotism.
—There are in every state three classes of powers: the legislative power, the executive power, and the judicial power. The first two, the political powers, are those whose functions are the most difficult to separate; their relations are the most delicate, and their action, now independent and now of necessity concurrent, is variously regulated and limited according as the constitution tends to extend or confine the prerogatives of the executive, and according as in the formation of the legislative power the aristocratic or the democratic element predominates, or a just balance between the two obtains. The judicial power, charged with the application of the laws, the settlement of differences between individuals, and the punishment of offenses and crimes against persons or the state, ought to be made completely independent of the legislative power, which is easily done, and as independent as possible of the executive power, a result of more difficult attainment. At all events, the principle of the necessity of a separation between the judicial power and that of making and administering the laws, is generally accepted and generally respected, except where mere arbitrary power prevails; were this principle not recognized, all notion, all possibility, of a just balance between the powers confounded, or separated by fictitious lines of demarcation, would be virtually done away with. We need, therefore, consider here only the conditions necessary for the maintenance of an equilibrium between the legislative power and the executive power. These conditions can not be the same in a monarchy and in a republic; and representative government admits equally of both forms. Montesquieu thinks that England drew from the Germania of Tacitus the idea of the institutions to which she owes her stability, her wealth and her greatness.
*43 Whatever may have been the origin and the successive transformations of mixed government, to England belongs the honor, an honor which can not be disputed her, of having been the first to establish representative government
on its true foundations; all the countries of the world which desired to become free have imitated her more or less. But every country has been able and has been obliged to preserve or introduce in its own constitution differences which its customs or genius made advisable or necessary.
—Thus the United States organized themselves as a republic, and modern France has not been able, and never will be able, without danger, to abandon the great principles of 1789.
—It does not fall within the limits of our subject to examine and compare, still less to judge, the various forms of representative government. We shall not undertake to set forth and discuss the means of equilibrium best adapted to secure a just distribution of powers under each of these forms of government. We will suppose, then, a representative government existing in the form and under the conditions that most frequently occur, that is, an executive power in the hands of an hereditary sovereign, and two chambers (whatever be the method of their election or nomination) sharing the legislative power with the head of the state. Peace, war, treaties and international relations belong to the powers of the sovereign. The courts render their decrees in his name, and he sees to their execution: he has the appointment to military and civil offices, but he governs by the delegation of his powers to responsible ministers; he has no power to dispose by treaty of any part of the public territory or treasure, nor can he make war without having the necessary grants from the representatives of the country. If the policy pursued by the executive ceases to have the support of the chambers, if the representatives of the country manifest their distrust and refuse their concurrence, the sovereign appeals to the electoral body by dissolving the elective chamber, or he changes his ministers, who may be brought to trial, in cases and by forms regulated by law; he himself remains irresponsible and inviolable. The opponents of representative government attack it particularly by arguments of fact drawn from revolutions which overthrew thrones in vain protected by a vicarious responsibility which was not even invoked, and by an inviolability which was not respected. Ministerial responsibility having failed to save the monarchy, it has been attempted to infer, not only that it is a useless fiction, but that it is even dangerous, the sovereign being too dependent on the chambers when the latter have the power, so to speak, to dictate to him the choice of his advisers.
—An attempt has been made to go even further than the suppression of ministerial responsibility, and to conceive of the personal responsibility of the sovereign before the nation. Now though it is easy to comprehend the meaning of the responsibility of the elective head of a republic, the question becomes singularly complicated when we have to consider the hereditary sovereign of a monarchical state. When, how, in whose name, and by whom could this responsibility be invoked? Who would be the judges and where would be the sanction? There is something in this that fails to present any clear idea to the mind, something that never has been explained and probably never will be explained. Such a clause, whatever meaning we may choose to attach to it as a declaration of principles, is, therefore, destined wherever it occurs to remain, in reality, a dead letter. It is very fortunate that this is so, for can we conceive of the state of a country where the sovereign could be, we will not say brought to trial, but publicly discussed in person and conduct? We need not hesitate, therefore, to declare that, since the sovereign can not be responsible, it follows that when the ministry is not responsible, no responsibility exists anywhere.
—The first condition of a balance of powers in a representative government being to place the sovereign above all attack and outside of all discussion, it has been found that the best way to accomplish this object is to subject all intervention in the affairs of government on his part to the counter-seal of a minister whose responsibility covers him.
—Every act exceeding the powers of a ministerial department ought to be discussed and approved in a council of ministers, so as to unite the entire cabinet in strict community of interests. This is the very foundation of representative governments, and, this form of government once accepted, the principle of ministerial responsibility has never been called in question. Where this responsibility does not exist, the form of government, whatever its name and whatever our opinion of it, is not the true and free representative form. Such is not the case with the prerogatives of parliament, which have been more or less enlarged or restrained according to the age, the country and the customs. In treating of these prerogatives we shall only touch on the principal points: the right to vote taxes to regulate the expenditure, the right of discussion of the laws, the right of amendment, of initiative, and the right to interrogate the ministers. On each of these points we shall dwell only on that which is essential to the balance of powers.
—The right to vote taxes, granted to deliberative assemblies without the right to regulate and control expenses, is only an illusory guarantee. The only effective safeguard of this double right lies in the power of the representatives of the people to modify the propositions of the budget, and in making it the duty of the executive to conform to the specification of expenditures voted, and never to undertake a new expenditure without a special appropriation by the legislative power. In speaking of the right to introduce amendments in the laws and retrenchments in the budget, a distinguished statesman has said: “The discussion of laws without the power to alter them, is only a sterile agitation. To place before the chambers the alternative of absolute rejection or adoption, is to reduce them to extreme resolutions and to destroy the spirit of compromise, which ought to be the true spirit of free countries.” (History of the Consulate
and of the Empire, vol. xviii., p. 177.)
—The right of amendment, balanced by the reservation in the hands of the head of the state of the right of initiative, and of approval of laws, can not be denied the representatives of the people, (or submitted to a body composed, like a council of state, of functionaries appointable and removable by the executive power, of which power the body is, as a matter of fact, a mere delegation,) without seriously diminishing the part of the assemblies. Chambers deprived of the right of amendment are reduced to obstructing the course of the government by their resistance, or to following it with absolute docility; they are no longer, properly speaking, deliberative bodies, but advisory commissions.
—We must not, in spite of certain resemblances between the two, confound the right of amendment with the right of initiative, and employ against the former objections in reality applicable only to the latter. The initiative in all matters, even in matters of legislation, may be safely left to the executive power to which it belongs to act.
—When the majority seriously desires and resolutely demands changes in legislation, the power which possesses the initiative will not wish, nor indeed have the power, to resist long. A responsible ministry could not keep the support of a chamber to which it refused the presentation of a law decidedly required by the representatives of the country. The recollection of the embarrassments caused in legislative assemblies by the exercise of the right of initiative is still fresh in the memory of every one. When this right exists it is impossible not to grant by the rules regulating it, or at least to allow in practice, an important part to the minority. The result is that assemblies lose valuable time in examining in committee or discussing in public sessions, propositions which have not the least chance of being adopted, propositions whose object may be, whose result frequently is, a useless agitation of the public mind. But quite another thing is the right to interrogate the government or to communicate information to it on affairs and on passing events which will soon become accomplished events. In such cases the representatives of the country ought not to find in the regulations of the assembly insurmountable obstacles to the putting of their questions at the proper time to the depositaries of the executive power. The majority should be free to authorize the interrogation, the answer to which, usage, in conformity with reason, allows the ministers on their own responsibility to refuse or defer. On all the points which we have thus summarily passed in review the prerogatives of the two chambers are equal in all governments where the powers are well balanced; but the rule is almost general that the priority in voting on money grants and financial measures belongs to the chamber of deputies, or to that body, whatever its name, which is most directly and most frequently renewed by election.
—To make a law the concurrence of the two chambers and of the executive power is indispensable. Each of the chambers may reject laws presented to it. and the sovereign may refuse to approve laws which the chambers have amended. Thanks to these salutary precautions none of the three wills which must concur to change a proposed bill into a law of the state, is exposed to the danger of finding itself alone in opposition to another will. There are always two on the same side, and the third ordinarily in the end submits.
—When the constitution has established between the sovereign represented by his ministers and the chambers representing the country, relations admitting of a reciprocal action of one on the other, uniting them both in a community of moral interests and responsibilities, and obliging the sovereign, not to be dependent on the legislative power, but to associate with himself in the exercise of the executive power men to whom the chambers accord their confidence and support, it becomes inevitable that the necessary moderation can not be imposed upon all parties. Concessions are made on either side. Neither of the powers probably obtains, but neither is forced to give up all that it desires. The sovereign may sometimes be embarrassed in his projects, hampered even in the good which he would like to do; but by a just compensation he is protected against more than one mistake, more than one rash impulse. Do we mean to say by this that a country is thus secured forever against revolutions? No, for all things human have their end. It is not merely dynasties and governments that pass away, societies themselves perish and peoples disappear. Human wisdom can not make anything eternal, and should confine itself to seeking the conditions most favorable to stability. History can show us no government that fell for having made timely concessions, but more than one has been over-thrown for having resisted too long. The great advantage of representative government, honestly administered, is, that it allows public opinion to manifest itself and renders the concessions of the sovereign easy and in no wise harmful. It is, furthermore, the only government where the separation of powers can be legally and actually complete—the only one where, as proved by the example of England, the just distribution of powers, maintained quite as much if not more by political customs as by the fundamental law of the state, softens, regulates and protects the play of the institutions, and thus secures their durability.