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body of the prisoner before the court granting the writ. It was in some form known to the old Saxon monarchy, and the use of it was acknowledged and established by the famous deed Magna Charta. But the habeas corpus act of Charles II, marks as important an era as does any other event in the history and nature of this writ. The writ is for the special benefit of prisoners. Upon complaint, in writing, and the suggestion of a probable reason to question the legality of a prisoner's detention, to any of the four courts in term time, or the lord chancellor, or any one of the judges in the vacation, a writ is issued commanding the person keeping the prisoner to produce the body of the prisoner within a short and specified time, and if the court is of opinion that the detention is illegal, he is forthwith set at liberty. And if he fail in getting the writ, or his liberty, on the first application, he may try all the courts, and all the judges, in succession, and obtain his ⚫ liberty if any of them judge that he is entitled to it. And it is no matter by whom he has been committed, even though it was by the king in person. By this writ, also, a prisoner can demand an immediate trial, and not be liable to long imprisonment on suspicion or pretence of suspicion.

4. Magna Charta. This was a famous deed signed by king John, upon the demand of his barons, on the 19th of June, 1215. Many of its provisions respect things now obsolete, and of course have no present importance; but it provided that, with a few and specified exceptions, no aids or subsidies should be levied from the subjects without the consent of the great council; that no person should be tried, or found guilty, on suspicion only, but on the evidence of lawful witnesses; and that no person should be tried or pun

What act marks an important era in its history? How is this writ obtained? Give some account of its use.

When and by whom was Magna Charta signed? What were some of its provisions?

ished but by the judgment of his peers and the law of the land.

5. Balance of interest. This This is the great security of the permanency of the British Constitution. It is found in the conflicting claims of the three estates, the king, lords, and commons. They are all jealous of each other's power, and any two will readily unite to oppose the third, if that third is aggrandizing itself, or making any encroachment on the rights of either of the others. But no two will unite to destroy the third, because both are sensible that they may need its aid. Hence each two hold the third in check, and each one is an arbiter between the other two.

6. Balance of power. This exists between the king and parliament. The king, by his prerogative, or his influence, can prevent the passage of any bill which it would be safe to oppose; while the parliament can effectually control the acts of the king by withholding the supplies necessary for any and every purpose. The whole subject of a revenue is in the hands of parliament, whether by taxation, a tariff of duties on commerce, or by any other means.

7. Privy council. This is the principal council, chosen by the king, and sworn to secresy. Their title is Right Honorable.

8. Cabinet council. This consists of ministers of state of the highest rank. Their number is from ten to fourteen. They are the Lord Chancellor, Lord Privy Seal, President of the Council, First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, three principal Secretaries of State, First Lord of the Admiralty, and some others. Of these, the first lord of the treasury is Premier, or Prime Minister.

Where is found the balance of interest? How does it operate? Where exists the balance of power? How can the king and parliament control each other?

What is the principal council? How chosen? Their title?

Of what number is the cabinet council? Of what ministers is it formed?

9. It will be sufficient to add, that though the British Constitution consists of acts of Parliament, royal grants, and immemorial usages, yet public sentiment exercises à sure and commanding influence, and makes it quite as improbable that the government, or any department of it, will overstep the known bounds of power, as if the Constitution were a separate document, over which the ordinary law-making power had no authority whatever.

Of what does the British Constitution consist? What is the influence of public sentiment?



And Perpetual Union between the States of NewHampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

ART. I. The style of this confederacy shall be "The United States of America.”

It is important in this place to consider these Articles principally with reference to their bearing on the Constitution subsequently adopted. The experience which was had under the Confederation showed the necessity of a different organization, and led to the framing and adoption of the Constitution. Hence it is fair to suppose, that wherever there was an ascertained defect in the Confederation, the framers and advocates of the Constitution intended to provide, and supposed they had provided, a remedy for such defect. They could not but know the meaning of the new Constitution. They must have understood the language in which it was expressed, and what the Convention intended by it. A true exposition of the Constitution must therefore always agree with their understanding of the matter. This rule it is important to remember.

How is it important here to consider these articles? What had experience shown? What may we hence suppose? What did they know and understand? What rule is it important to remember?

ART. II. Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in congress assembled.

ART. III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for

Many of the provisions in these Articles were found to be what was necessary and proper, and were therefore incorporated into the Constitution. These must, of course, be construed in accordance with the loose rein which the Confederation held on the States. They were generally acquiesced in by all parties; while many of those provisions of the Constitution, which were meant to supply the defects of the Confederation, have been from the first regarded with extreme jealousy by the zealous advocates of popular power.

ART. 1. If it were not too late, it would be desirable to adopt a different style, and that the United States should assume a national name, in accordance with the practice of all other nations. At this late period, however, this style seems to be our inheritance, which we must hand down to our successors. It is adopted from this Article into the Preamble of the Constitution.

ART. 2. This was intended to express a much larger sovereignty and independence than can consist with the Constitution, though it expresses, in fact, nothing but what is as true now as at any former period. This results from the principle, always safe in interpreting the Constitution, that what is not given up by the States is retained by them; and which is expressly maintained in the ninth and tenth Amendments of the Constitution.

ART. 3. The States had acted in concert from the first opposition to British injustice, through the Declaration of Independence, and the commencement of the revolutionary war. They had been held together by the bond of a common cause and common danger, as well as by a sense of individual weakness.

What pro

What is said of many of the provisions of these Articles? How must they be construed? How were they acquiesced in? visions were regarded with jealousy? What is the first article?

too late?

What would be desirable if it were not

What is the substance of the second article? What was it intended to express? From what principle does this result? In what part of the Constitution is this principle maintained?

Give the substance of Art. 3. How had the States acted? By what bond had they been held together?

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