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INTRODUCTION.

POLITICAL DEFINITIONS.

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1. SOVEREIGNTY,-is the highest power !! Thus, for a state, or nation, to be sovereign, it must govern itself, without any dependence upon another power. It must have no superiors.3 But when a community, city, or state makes part of another community or state, and is represented with foreign powers by that community or state of which it is a part, then it is not sovereign.4

2. GOVERNMENT,-is the whole body of constituted authority. Thus, from the very origin of society, one portion of the people have exercised authority over the rest. The authority thus exercised is called the government, and it derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.

3. LAW, is a rule of action. In this general sense, it signifies the rules of all action, and constitutes alike the rules by which the heavenly bodies move, nations are governed, and the plants grow. Law, in a political sense, however, signifies a rule of human action. In a particular state, "it is a rule prescribed by the

1 Johnson. 2 Vattel's Laws of Nations, p. 16; Martin's Laws of Nations, p. 23. 3 Rutherforth's Institutes, p. 282. 4 Martin, p. 25. 5 Crabbe. 6 Declaration of Independence. 71 Blacks. Commentaries, p. 38;-Johnson.

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supreme power in the state, commanding what is right, and forbidding what is wrong."

4. CONSTITUTION,-is the constituted form of government.1 It is the fundamental law; the regulation which determines the manner in which the authority vested in government is to be executed. It is delineated by the hand of the people.3

5. A DESPOTISM,-is that form of government "in which a single individual, without any law, governs according to his own will and caprice." An example of this kind of government may be found in Turkey, where the sultan exercises all the powers of sovereignty, with respect to the general administration of public affairs; but, even there, he is limited by certain customs and rules, as it respects private justice.

6. A MONARCHY,-is that form of government in which a single individual governs, but according to established laws.5 The governments of Austria, Prussia, France, and England are examples of this form of government. The limitations placed upon the monarch are, however, very different in degree: thus, the power of the Prussian monarch is very great, while that of the king of England is so small as scarcely to be felt. The latter acts through his ministers, who are held responsible to the representatives of the people, and can maintain their power only so long as they can satisfy public opinion.

7. A REPUBLIC,-is that form of government in which the whole people, or only a part of the people, hold sovereign power. The people of Athens were formerly an example of the first kind of republic, and governed themselves by primary assemblies of the people, a mode which could only be adopted where the people were chiefly citizens, and inhabitants of one capital city. In 1 Crabbe, Johnson. 2 Vattel, p. 26. 27. 2 Dallas, p. 304. 4 Montesquieu, book 2d, tesquieu, Spirit of Laws, book 2d, chap. I.

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Supreme Court; chap. I.

6 Idem.

5 Mon

modern times the United States are an example of the same kind of republic, with this difference, that the people do not govern themselves by their assemblies, but by delegates, or through the principle of representation. An example of the second kind of republics may be found in Venice, Genoa, and the Dutch States,1 in all of which a part of the people, either absolutely or limitedly, exercised the authority. The difference between these kinds of republics will be understood from the following definitions.

8. A DEMOCRACY,-is when the sovereign power is in the hands of the whole people. The term Democracy is derived directly from the Greek word Demos, signifying the people.

9. AN ARISTOCRACY,-is when the sovereign power is in the hands only of a part of the people.3 This word is likewise of Greek derivation. It is compounded of the adjective Aristos, signifying best or wisest, and Kratos, signifying power or strength; the whole word signifies that form of government in which a few of the wisest and best govern. Both Democracies and Aristocracies are Republics.

10. A PARTY,-is any number of persons confederated, by a similarity of objects and opinions in opposition to others.4 An illustration of this may be found anywhere. In England, the whigs and tories are two great parties, which have long divided the nation. In France, during the revolution, the jacobins and royalists were violently opposed. On the continent of Europe generally, there are the parties of the liberals and absolutists. In the United States, the federal and democratic parties divided the country till the termination of the last

war.

11. A FACTION,-is any number of persons, whether majority or minority, confederated by some common 2Spirit of Laws, book 2d, chap. II.

1 Martin, p. 39. 3 Idem.

4 Locke.

motive, in opposition to the rights of other persons, or to the interests of community. The difference between party and faction then is, that the former is a difference of principle, and is founded on a general or public object; the latter may have any motive, however personal or selfish, and be directed towards any end, however little connected with the public welfare. Thus, two divisions of the people differing as to how the government shall be administered, are parties; but a section whose object is to keep one portion of the people from the enjoyment of power, or to aggrandize an individual, or to divide among themselves all the offices of state, is a faction.

12. LEGISLATURE,-is the law-making power. Thus, in a Republic, it is that branch of the government in which the people have vested the power to make laws.

13. CONGRESS, is a meeting for the settlement of national affairs, whether relating to one or more nations.3 In the United States, the national legislature is called the Congress; in Europe, a conference of different powers by their ministers, is called a Congress; as the meeting of ambassadors at Laybach was called the Congress of Laybach.

14. LEGISLATIVE,-that which relates to law-making,1

15. EXECUTIVE,—that which relates to the execution of the laws. Thus, the chief officer of the government, whether he be called King, President, or Governor, is denominated the Executive, for on him, in most cases, the constitution devolves the duty of executing the laws.

16. JUDICIAL,6-that which relates to the administration of justice. Thus, judicial duties are those which devolve upon the judges, who have to decide upon what is law, and to adjudicate between private rights.

1 Federalist. 5 Idem.

2 Johnson.

6 Idem.

3 Idem.

4 Idom、

17. Statute LAW,-is the express written will of the Legislature, rendered 'authentic by prescribed forms.1 Thus, the statutes of Ohio are the laws enacted by the Legislature of Ohio. It follows, from this definition in connexion with those of Constitution and Legislature, that statutes can be binding only when, 1st, they are executed according to the prescribed forms; and, 2dly, when they are consistent with the constitution ; for, the constitution being the fundamental law, created by the people themselves, all other laws are inferior to it.

18. COMMON LAW,-is that body of principles, usages, and rules of action which do not rest for their authority upon the positive will of the legislature.2 In other words, it consists of those customs and rules to which time and usage have given the sanction of law. Of such, it is plain, must be the great body of the laws of every people; for the rules of business and the usages of society are so variable and complicated, as to be incapable of being made permanently the subject of statute law. The will of the legislature being, however, under the limitation of the constitution, that of the people, statute law is superior in force to common law; and wherever they are inconsistent with each other, the latter is abrogated by the former.3

19. A CORPORATION,—is defined to be a body politic, having a common seal.a—It is an artificial, or political person, maintaining a perpetual succession, by means of several individuals, united in one body through a common seal. They have a legal immortality, except so far as they are limited by the law of their creation. These were originally created for purposes of charity, trade, and education; but are now used for all purposes

1 Kent's Comm. 1 vol. p. 319. Black. Comm. 1 vol. p. 89.

1 vol. p. 467.

4 Johnson.

2 Idem, I vol. 439.

5 Black. Comm

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