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of families in it. Representative legislative bodies chosen by the people are a very late development of advanced civilization. Judicial functions are exercised by the king in person in a small despotism, and in larger ones by persons appointed by him to act in his stead. The Greeks and Romans give us the earliest known well defined division of powers among the three departments of government. This division now obtains throughout Europe as well as America, and is being extended into Asia. The separation of executive, legislative and judicial functions is nowhere complete. In most monarchical countries the chief executive officers under the crown take the initiative in the most important legislation and have a voice in the deliberations of the Parliament, and all laws require the approval of the king. In Great Britain the ministry exercise the executive functions with no substantial interference from the king. They are always in accord with the majority in Parliament, for whenever they cease to be so a new cabinet is formed and the House of Commons is usually dissolved and new members elected. In all countries, where there is a separation of executive and legislative powers, it is necessary that the executive departments report to the legislative the needs of the public service and submit estimates of the moneys required for each and the requirements of men for military, naval and civil service.
In the United States the president and the governors of the states make recommendations respectively to Congress and to the legislatures through written messages, but are not allowed to take any part in their deliberations; nor are any other executive officers entitled to do so. The President has a veto on acts of Congress, but this may be overriden by a vote of two-thirds of each house and the law enacted without his sanction. Similar rules apply to the governors and state legislatures. The influence of the chief executive under the system of political parties which has prevailed from early times depends on whether his party is in the majority in the two houses of Congress, or the legislature of his state. When the executive is in political accord with the majority in both houses his influence is usually very potent in shaping legislation; when he is not his influence over appropriations of money may still be great through estimates of the public needs, but as to other matters of legislation it may be very small. In this particular the system is lacking in efficiency and ultra conservative.
While judicial power has been taken away from chief executives in all civilized nations, the appointment of the judges is still a function of the chief executive in Europe, and for the federal courts in the United States and the state courts of some of the states. In others they are chosen by the legislature, but in most of the states they are now elected by the people. The judicial function of trying impeachments of presidents and other civil officers of the United States, including judges of the federal courts, is vested in the senate of the United States, and of the governors and other state officers in the state senates. Impeachment by charges preferred by the lower legislative body and tried by the upper is not an efficient method of punishing public officers for misfeasance in office. It may be wise to have so conservative a remedy in the case of the president and vice-president, but as to all other officers it is an impracticable scheme.
The executive head of every country, by whatever name he may be called, is always commander in chief of the army and navy and the representative of the nation in all dealings with foreign nations. All civil as well as military officers, except such as are made elective by the legislature or by popular vote are also appointed by the chief executive. While the lawmaking power levies the taxes and gives general directions for its appropriation, it is the executive officers who collect the money and use it. By reason of its control of appointments to office, of the expenditure of public funds and its daily contact with the people in the transaction of the public business, the executive department exerts a powerful influence both on the legislative department and public sentiment. Theoretically in the United States it is subject to the direction of the legislative and judicial branches of the government acting within their respective spheres. It is subject to the laws, and executive officers are bound to carry the judgments of the courts into execution. They are liable to trial and punishment by the courts for their violations of law and duty, and in some instances in some of the states to removal from office by them. The vast executive powers of the general government of the United States are concentrated in the President. The heads of the executive departments are appointed by him and are his advisers, but they hold office during his pleasure only, and he has power to remove them and appoint others at will. The states have a far less forceful executive head. In most of them the chief executive officers other than the governor are also elected by the people, and are not subject to removal by him. The greatly superior efficiency of the federal plan has not yet induced the states to model their executive departments after it.
In the discharge of executive duties it often becomes necessary to determine questions of fact preliminary to the performance of a duty. This the executive officer who is called on to act does summarily in his own way, usually without any formal trial. Perhaps the most important instances occur in matters affecting the friendly relations of the country with a foreign power. The protection of citizens temporarily in foreign states frequently makes it necessary to inquire into transactions occurring in remote parts of the earth. In exercising the pardoning power an inquiry into the character and conduct of the applicant for mercy closely analogous to a judicial trial of a question of fact is necessary, though the proceeding is wholly discretionary with the executive in most states and countries.
The moral progress of the world is exhibited by the steady and rapid evolution of executive departments into agencies for the discharge of useful peaceful functions, and the tendency to slough off the baneful military activities. While inventions of destructive agents and instruments have kept pace with the inventions of useful ones, and while the nations still waste their energies, their substance and their men in needless and vicious armaments and war preparations, the utter immorality of aggressive wars is recognized, and the executives of all advanced states feel the restraining influences of an advancing morality which condemns war.
CHECKS AND BALANCES OF GOVERNMENTAL POWERS Much has been said by writers on political economy in commendation of the plan of restraining each branch of the government within its useful field by placing a countervailing power in another branch, and there can be no doubt of the value of such balances of power. Nevertheless the ultimate effective checks must always remain with the general body of citizens and be kept alive by education and an active public sentiment; else they soon lose all potency. The true theory of all official power is that of agency to do particular things, not of a general agency subject only to a few special limitations. The balancing of powers by constituting different agencies to act as checks on each other has been tried often and in a great variety of ways, but nowhere with ideal results. The Chinese imperial system, so far as all officers under the emperor were concerned, was based on this idea, but corruption and inefficiency were the rule rather than the exception. Rome set tribunes against consuls and massed plebs against patres, yet the senate continued to rule till overawed by the legions under military leaders. A government of limited powers exercised for short periods by persons taken from and returned to the general mass of citizens is least dangerous to liberty. The objections to it are lack of continuity of purpose and efficiency. In a country where ignorance and immorality prevail these objections are valid. Liberty and order are impossible without self-restraint exercised voluntarily by the great majority of the people. Education is by all odds the most potent factor in maintaining any governmental system. This is more clearly illustrated by the Asiatic governments than by the European, where illiteracy has prevailed until very recent times with the exception of the Greek and Roman periods. A definite system of education in law, religion and social organization, enforced as a divine ordinance, has moulded the character of all Hindoo society for thousands of years. The Mohammedan system has been similarly propagated. The Chinese books and teachers have played an equally important part in preserving the peculiar institutions of that country and securing obedience to much that appears to Europeans as unqualifiedly bad. Europe and America have also been greatly influenced by the teachings of the Bible, also of Asiatic origin, which have been accepted as religious truth, but not as a guide in the formation of governments, or a system of laws to be administered in the courts. In this it will be seen that the use of the Bible as a sacred book is somewhat anomalous, for the Koran and the Code of Manu are of the highest authority as books of law in all courts where their religious authority is accepted. The morals of the Old Testament are discarded as too low for this age. The Christian conception of universal love for all humanity indicates the ideal social condition, without elaborating the details of the application of it to the particulars of human conduct. Love as a passion is not universal, but partial, responding to influences not always readily comprehended. Though capable of stimulation by education, its mainspring rests in the seat of the emotions of the person. The heart responds to impulses that no one can wholly control. If all could be induced to act as love for each and all would dictate, the destructive and corrective functions of government would be eliminated at once, for there would be nothing left on which to act. Wars would cease, and those who now commit crimes would be wholly absorbed in harmless activities, beneficial to themselves or to others. Government in its sinister, meddlesome and cruel sense might at once be dispensed with. But this would not do away with the necessity for social organization. Great numbers cannot act in concert for their mutual benefit without rules governing the conduct of each and an apportionment of duties. Schools for the instruction of all in the rudiments of letters, science and the arts and special instruction for each to qualify him for his particular part in life will always be necessary. Until the ideal Christian spirit is universal it will continue to be necessary for the people to guard against abuses of governmental powers. The idea of official checks balancing each other is based on the theory of a governmental force above the people. Unless those for whom powers are exercised are capable of approving or condemning the acts of