« 이전계속 »
MARCH 27, 1826.]
Inquiry into Adjournment.
the entire restitution to be just as clear, as is the petition-business would be done. It is generally understood that er's right to receive it. In the first place, we are bound the first session of Congress is the speaking session, and to restore it, because we had no right take it. We claimed this ought be emphatically so called-and the second sesWest Florida, as far as the Rio Perdido, under the terms sion is the acting, or business session. Mr. H. thought it of the Louisiana treaty; but we claimed no money under would be an advantage to take a little from the speaking that treaty, neither the King's nor his subjects; but the session, and add it to the business session. money of both was taken, and taken by those who took Mr. HAYNE wished the resolution should pass in the the Province, and we have made their act our own, and usual form. He wished those terms should be used which assumed all its liabilities, by receiving the fruits of their are ordinarily used, when the object is to ascertain what enterprize, and rewarding them for what they did. In business is to be done prior to an adjournment. The very the next place, the petitioner has a right to receive back term recess, implied an interruption from one short period all the money that was taken from his possession, both to another short period, and that this was the meaning of it the King's and his own. His right to his own cannot be in the present instance, was to be inferred from its being questioned; his right to receive the King's is just as clear. followed up by the particular inquiry in the second reHe was the King's officer, and had the keeping of the solution, as to the period at which they were to meet money for the purpose of paying certain salaries. The again. Against this Mr. H. protested. He was satisfied King trusted him, and it is not for us to say that he is un- that nothing was to be gained by an earlier meeting of worthy of trust. Besides, the laws are in force, and pay- Congress. When they met at the constitutional period, ment can be coerced if refused. But the great moral and adjourned on the 4th of March, more business was ground is, that, having no right to take this money, we done than during the long session-it would be injurious have none to retain it; that it is our duty to restore it, and to the public interest, as well as inconvenient to the memthe duty of others to account for its disbursement. bers, to meet at an earlier period; at all events, the inqui I think, Mr. President, that these considerations are ry ought, he thought, to be made in the usual terms. sufficient, not only to procure me leave to introduce the Mr. NOBLE said, if the position of the gentleman from bill, but to ensure its final passage. But, if other consi- Maine was correct, he had seen a difference between the derations are necessary, they may be found in the cha- long and short session, which he (Mr. N.) had not seen racter of the petitioner, his former state, and present con- during the last ten years. He believed it was perpetual dition, and in the injustice with which all his countrymen talking, both during the long and the short session; there of Louisiana have been treated by these United States. was no difference. He was for meeting on the day auThe Ex-Governor Delassus is as irreproachable a man in thorized by the Constitution; and as for preventing talkprivate and public life, as any that lives. He has been ing, that was, he thought, all folly. They knew what Governor, with almost unlimited powers, over a province business they had now before thre, and it must be known larger than the kingdom of Europe, and he is now the cul- by the members from the new States, that if a day was tivator of a farm of some twenty acres in the suburb of the fixed, three or four weeks hence, for adjournment, the town which was the capital of his dominion. He had more, interests of a large portion of nine new States would be or rather ought to have more, than twenty acres. The jeopardized. The Bankrupt Bill, and the bill for the aboKing of Spain gave him some thousands; but the United lition of imprisonment for debt, were, he said, both imStates' Government picked a hole in his title papers, and portant measures, and the Senate would have again to go have fought him out of his land for five-and-twenty years. over the doctrine which they had already discussed in seHe is one of that body of Frenchmen who were transferred cret session. There was, too, another question, which to us with the cession of Louisiana, and who have seen the would consume considerable time, in relation to a certain young grow old, and the old die; who have seen a quar-treaty. He was therefore opposed to this resolution, and ter of a century roll over their heads, and a generation pass from the earth while they have stood at your doors vain petitioners for the land which they received from the bounty of a King, and which they are in danger of losing from the cupidity of a Republic.
The leave being granted, Mr. B. introduced the bill; which was twice read and referred.
After the transaction of some business not giving rise to debate, the Senate adjourned to Monday.
MONDAY, MARCH 27, 1826.
INQUIRY INTO ADJOURNMENT. The Senate then proceeded to consider the following fesolution, submitted on Friday last, by Mr. HOLMES: "Resolved, That be a committee, to be joined by the House of Representatives, to report what business is necessary to be acted on this session, and when Conhave a recess." gress may Mr. HAYNE moved to amend the resolution, by striking out the words "have a recess," and inserting "adjourn." Mr. H. said he did not like the word recess, it looked like an earlier meeting of Congress, against which he protested.
Mr. HOLMES thought the words meant the same thing. The word recess meant a breaking up-a going away and he did not know that adjournment meant any thing more. The sessions are very unequal, said Mr. H. and as we cannot add to the latter end of one session, the only way to lengthen it is by adding to the commencement of it-and if the time was more equally divided, more Vol. II-25
moved to lay it on the table; which motion was lost, ayes 13, noes 17.
And then the question being taken on Mr. HAYNE'S proposed amendment, it was decided in the affirmative, ayes 19, nocs 9.
Mr. FINDLAY was opposed to the resolution, from which he thought no good could be derived. It seemed to be connected with another resolution that proposed an earlier meeting of Congress than the Constitutional day. No good could come from it-their business was now in train-they were better prepared to act on it than they would be at the commencement of a new session. He was of opinion they would get through more business, now, in one week, than in three times that time hereafter. He was therefore opposed to the whole resolution.
Mr. MILLS thought that some resolution should be adopted, for the furtherance of public business. It was admitted on all hands, though as the gentleman from Indiana suggested, there was sufficient talking in both ses sions-yet, when the termination of a session was fixed, more business would be done in proportion to the length of time they continued in session. To effect this object, it was proper the time of adjournment should be fixednot that it should be at so early a day as to preclude the consideration of any important measure now before them all he wished was to have a day fixed that they might see when they would get to the end of their labors, and then they would apply themselves earnestly to the business before them, with a firm determination to bring it to a close.
Mr. HAYNE said he was opposed to the second reso
Kentucky Asylum-Protection of Commerce.
lution, though in favor of this. Congress ought not to adjourn till the important business before the House was disposed of, but it was important to know what that business was. The long session was an intolerable evil, and they should bring it to a close as soon as it could be done consistently with the public interest.
The resolution was then agreed to, modified as follows: "Resolved, That be a committee, to be joined by a committee of the House of Representatives, to report what business is necessary to be acted on this session, and when Congress may adjourn."
A second resolution offered by Mr. HOLMES, relative to an earlier meeting of Congress than the first Monday in December, was, at his suggestion, laid on the table.
TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 1826.
The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of the bill granting a township of the public lands for the benefit of the incorporated Kentucky Asylum for teaching the Deaf and Dumb.
Mr. COBB objected to the bill on principle, as an unconstitutional grant of common property for a partial or local purpose, and argued against the bill on that ground, Whereupon;
A debate of wide extent, and considerable duration, ensued on the merits of the bill, and validity of the objections made to it by Mr. C. and on some of its details. The bill was supported by Messrs. ROWAN, JOHNSON, of Ken. BENTON, BARTON, EATON, HOLMES, LLOYD, MILLS, EDWARDS, HENDRICKS, and KING.
Mr. BARTON, in the course of the discussion, moved (for the purpose of obviating some objections, as well as to render the bill more perfect) an amendment, in stance providing that the land to be granted should be sold under the direction of the President of the United States, as other lands of the United States are, and the proceeds applied to the benefit of the Kentucky Asylum for educating the Deaf and Dumb of the several States.
This was opposed and supported by various gentlemen on various grounds; and
Mr. HENDRICKS intimated that he should move an amendment to confine the location of the land to one of the territories of the Union, as it would be prejudicial to the interest of any State, to have the location, according to the terms of the grant, made in a State.
[MARCH 28, 29, 1826.
Eaton, Edwards, Findlay, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnson of
NAYS.-Messrs. Branch, Chandler, Chase, Cobb, Har per, Hayne.-6.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 1826.
The Senate then, on motion of Mr. HAYNE, proceeden to the consideration of the bill from the House, to provide for "the employment of an additional naval force;" (which had been reported this day, by the Committee of Naval Affairs, without amendment.)
Mr. HAYNE said, that, since the passage of the Generat Appropriation Bill, accounts had been received of war having been declared by the Emperor of Brazil against the Republic of Buenos Ayres. That war, said Mr. H. is still waging, and numerous privateers and pirates are found in those seas. Merchants have received accounts that the exigencies of the trade in that quarter are such, that, unless Government immediately send out an imposing force, serious sub-inconvenience will be experienced by the commerce to those countries, to China, and even to the Coast of Africa. In consequence of a representation on this subject, which had reached the Naval Department, and the members of the other House, a resolution was passed some time ago, directing the Secretary of the Navy to report whether the disposition of the force authorized by law, and the appropriation heretofore made, would enable him to detach such vessels to this station as would be necessary for the service; and from the answer to that resolution, it appeared that the force had been so stationed and arranged, that not a vessel can be detached from it; so that this respectable trade must go without protection, unless means are furnished to the Naval Department to fit out the force which is here proposed. Mr. H. then read various extracts from the printed documents, showing the necessity of sending such a force, and the inadequacy of the means at present in the power of the Naval Department. Mr. H. adverted to the nature of the contest now carrying on; to the character of the persons in the vicinity; and to the nests of pirates recently broken up in Cuba; and said that, as it was manifestly necessary that some force should be sent to those seas, the committee had no hesitation in recommending the appropriation to the extent now asked for. The appropriation conformed to the estimate in every particular, except that the estimate was for twelve months, and the appropriation was for nine months only, which would be sufficient for the purpose proposed, till the first of January next.
To unite the views of both these gentlemen, and embrace their objects in a more acceptable form to himself, Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, (the other amendment being withdrawn for the purpose,) moved an amendment that the land should be sold in five years, and be located in a Territory; which amendment was agreed to.
Mr. DICKERSON then moved to amend the bill further, by inserting a provision for a like grant of land to the Institution in New Jersey, for instructing the Deaf and Dumb; which motion he made pursuant to instructions from the Legislature of New Jersey.
This amendment was opposed by Messrs. ROWAN, MILLS, BENTON, and JOHNSON, of Kentucky; not from hostility to the object, but on the ground that it was irregular and improper to engraft on a bill a new measure, substantially by way of amendment, which had not been regularly introduced, and previously examined.
Mr. BENTON, in particular, placed his opposition emphatically on this ground.
Mr. DICKERSON maintained the propriety of the course he had pursued, and was supported by Mr. COBB, who saw no difference between the two cases, though he was opposed to both..
Mr. D's amendment was negatived without a division.
Mr. HOLMES rose to make some inquiry as to the amount of the force in the Mediterranean; whether there were not some vessels lying at Gibraltar which could be detached on this service; and whether we had not some frigates at home. There was one, he said, drawn up high and dry; he would ask, if there was no means of getting that vessel off. He was told when she was drawn up, that she might be launched very soon, whenever it shonli be required.
MARCH 29, 1826.]
Amendment to the Constitution.
Mr. LLOYD said he could corroborate the statement tution of the United States, "that no person who shall of the gentleman from South Carolina; and he felt much" have been elected to the office of President of the indebted to him for the readiness with which he had re- "United States a second time, shall again be eligible to ported this bill. Mr. L. said he had received several ap- "that office"-having been taken up for considerationplications on this subject, which were not at this moment Mr. DICKERSON, of New Jersey, observed, that this in his possession; but there was no doubt we must be pre-proposed amendment had been brought before the Senate pared either to protect this commerce, or to fight for it three years ago, but in connection with other amendhereafter. The commerce to Chili, Buenos Ayres, Peru, ments then proposed, upon which no final vote was taken, to the Pacific, to China, and India, all passes along the and none was taken on this. At the next session, it was borders of this coast; and it has been made known to the again brought forward, as a distinct proposition; it was merchants of the United States, that numerous privateers, discussed, and passed, almost unanimously, not more than alias pirates, are fitting out with the ostensible object of three Senators voting against it. But it was not taken up cruising against each other; but, no doubt, in reality, to in the House of Representatives. At the last session, it cruise against any neutral commerce they may fall in with. was not deemed expedient to bring it forward, as the conSix weeks since, Mr. L. said, he had applied to the Naval test that was to take place in the House of RepresentaDepartment for the protection now provided by this bill, tives upon the Presidential election, forbade the hope that to be sent to that country; and he was answered, that a decision would be had upon any constitutional amendthere was not one vessel, or a single dollar, that could be ment. It is to be hoped that it may now receive from appropriated for this purpose. The squadron in the Me- Congress, as well as the State Legislatures and the citiditerranean, said Mr. L. cannot be diminished, with safetyzens at large, that attention which its importance merits. to the commerce of that sea, and the interests of the United If, by our Constitution, the President of the United States. The merchants of the United States are very States was elected to hold his office during good behaanxious that this force should be sent out as soon as possi-vior, our Government would be, by whatever name it ble; there can be very little doubt it is to the interest of the Government to send it, and it cannot be detached from any other force. Mr. L. hoped, therefore, the appropriation would meet with no opposition.
Mr. HAYNE, in reply to Mr. HOLMES, observed, that whether the force in the Mediterranean was necessary or not, he was not able to form an opinion. He relied on the statements of those who were well acquainted with the subject, and who were charged with the protection of commerce in that sea. The Secretary of the Navy says it is necessary there, and no part of it can be diverted to any other object. There is something, too, Mr. H. said, in the character of the nations in the Mediterranean, which renders it peculiarly necessary that a force should always be kept there; we have always kept one there since the Tripolitan war. I have no doubt the Secretary is correct, when he says this force is necessary; and I shall not assume the responsibility of interfering, contrary to the opinion of the Secretary, and advise that a portion of this force should be withdrawn. As to the vessels being detained in port, Mr. H. said that circumstance ought not to surprise the gentleman: for the advantage derived from the force stationed there, was from their showing themselves frequently in port. It would take a very long time to detach this force from the Mediterranean, much longer than would be required to fit out the vessels for which the appropriation, now under discussion, was to be made. With regard to the frigate to which the gentleman alluded, Mr. H. said, if he wished it to be launched, he should probably agree with him on that point; but he was not disposed to agree to its being launched for this particular service; because it would cost more money, and consume more time, than to fit out other force.
Mr. HOLMES said he was not opposed to this appropriation, if it was necessary; and there was, no doubt, danger to our commerce, as regarded the war alluded to. Whether the Congress of Panama would settle that tion, he did not know.
might be called, an elective monarchy; limited in its powers, but with sufficient inherent energy to break down, in time, any barriers that a written Constitution could present against the encroachment of arbitrary power. If, under our Constitution, we adopt the practice of electing our Presidents, from period to period, until the infirmities of age admonish them to retire, our system will soon become that of elective monarchy. That the want of the limitation now proposed has not been practically felt, must be attributed, not to any corrective principle in our Constitution, nor to any rigid adherence to the jealous maxims of democracy on the part of the People, but to the motives of action, which have governed our Chief Magis trates. As yet, there has been nothing to excite alarm upon this subject. The limitation proposed has not yet been wanted, and, probably, will not be for many years to come; but it is the dictate of prudence to provide for the danger while it is yet remote.
Fifteen years before the adoption of our Constitution, the People of this country were loyal subjects; admirers of the limited monarchy of Great Britain-the system of whose Government was considered to be the perfection of human wisdom.
The oppressions, which led to resistance, rebellion, revolution, and independence, were not to be attributed to the form of government of the mother country; for Republics, no less than monarchies, oppress their colonies. Our sufferings, during the Revolutionary struggle, produced resentment and hatred-not against monarchy, but against England.
From the inefficiency of the old Confederation to promote the interest of the Union, after our independence had been established, and after the pressure had ceased that kept us together during our Revolutionary struggle, the best friends of the country began to fear that there would not be found in a Republican form of government ques-sufficient energy to cement, in a firm Federative Union, the discordant members of the United States. And, had they no reason to fear? It must be apparent, that it is to the federative principle of our Union, the efficacy of which had never before been tested, that we are to be indebted for the permanency of our democratic institutions, if indeed they are to be permanent. Our safety depends upon keeping up a proper jealousy of State rights, and State sovereignties, and in distinctly tracing and preserving the lines of demarcation between Federal and State powers. Every step towards consolidation is a step towards monarchy, and every step towards monarchy is a step towards consolidation. They will be found to be mutually the cause and effect of each other.
Mr. LLOYD observed, that Gibraltar was the port of supplies for our vessels; and he did not believe that our vessels would lay there longer than was necessary. They came there often to get supplies, but only remained a few days in that port.
The bill was then passed to a third reading.
AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.
It is not strange, that nearly forty years ago, the approach of an elective and limited monarchy should have been looked upon with less dread than it was fifteen or twenty years afterwards, when we had experienced the advantages and tested the strength of our present system. Nor is it strange, that, as our heads are turned with the magnificence of our General Government; when we are extending our relations to every quarter of the globe; when we are contemplating the making of canals through every part of the Continent, and driving tunnels through the Alleghany Mountains, by the strong arm of the Union: It is not strange that we look with some degree of complacency upon the disappearance of the jealous cautions and calculating principles of democracy, which have a direct tendency to check such magnificence. It is not strange, that we view without apprehension the progress of measures calculated to increase the Executive power, the incipient, insidious steps towards monarchy; and, even the election of a President for the third period, would excite but little alarm.
[MARCH 29, 1826.
July 25th, it was moved that no person should be capa ble of holding the office of President more than six years in any twelve; which passed in the negative—yeas` 5,
as to read, for the term of seven years, to be ineligible a
of the resolutions agreed to.
Pinckney, and those offered by Mr. Paterson, were refer-
Although this question excites but little feeling at pre-tion at rest, but they were deceived; it was too important sent, it once created more agitation in the Federal Con- in the eyes of the friends to an Executive for life, to be vention than any other subject that came before them, as given up yet. will appear by a few extracts from the Journal of that Con
On the 1st of June, 1787, in the Federal Convention, Mr. Randolph introduced a resolution, that the National Executive should not be eligible a second time, (page 88) and, the next day it was agreed to, eight States being for the resolution, one against it, and one divided. (page 94.) Seven years was the term then in contemplation.
On the 15th of June, Mr. Paterson submitted a proposition, that the United States in Congress be authorized to elect a Federal Executive for years, to be ineligible a second time, [p. 125.] The term in contemplation then was also seven years.
On the 18th of June, Col. Hamilton submitted resolutions, that the President and Senate should be elected to serve during good behaviour; that is, for life, with powers nearly as extensive as those of the King and House of Lords of Great Britain, [p. 130.]
Col. Hamilton was one of the greatest men in this country, and, without doubt, believed that his plan was well calculated to promote the happiness and prosperity of the Union. Many of our distinguished citizens thought with him then, who afterwards changed their opinions, on witnessing the success of our present system.
On the 19th of June, the resolutions of Mr. Randolph, as altered and agreed to in the committee of the whole, were submitted, of which the ninth resolution was, "that "a National Executive be instituted, to consist of a single person, to be chosen by the National Legislature, for the "term of seven years, to be ineligible a second time," [pp. 136, 183.] July 17th, it was moved to strike out the words "to be ineligible a second time," which passed in the affirmative-Yeas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Georgia-Nays, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, [p. 185.] On this occasion, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Georgia, changed their votes, which were first in favor of the limitation. Pennsylvania, which was divided before, now voted against the limitation. North Carolina, and South Carolina, maintained their Delaware, Virginia, ground. New Jersey did not vote on the first question. It was moved to strike out "seven years," and insert "good behaviour;" which passed in the negative-yeas 4, nays 6. It would seem that four States, at this time, preferred an Executive for life.
A motion was made to reconsider, and passed in the affirmative.
On the 19th July, a motion was made to restore the words "to be ineligible a second time." It passed in the negative, [p. 191.]
On the 24th August, a motion was made to postpone the consideration of the two last clauses of the first section of article ten, to wit, the term of years and the limitation. It passed in the negative. It was moved to refer them to a Committee of a Member from each State. It passed in the negative. [p. 288.]
August 31, it was agreed to refer such parts of the plan as had not been acted on, to a Committee of one Member of a Constitution as had been postponed, and such reports from each State. [p. 318.]
alterations, &c. the fourth of which was, "The President
On the 5th of September, it was moved to postpone the
States proposed amendments:
being President more than eight years in sixteen.
President a third time. Exactly what is now proposed.
have been very animated. Of this, we may form some The debates upon this subject, in the Convention, must vention, to the Legislature of Maryland. He saysopinion, from the report of Mr. Martin, one of the Con
"There was a party who attempted to have the Presi "dent appointed during good behaviour, without any li
MARCH 29, 1826.]
Amendment to the Constitution.
"mitation as to time; and not being able to succeed in are, that the candidate must be a native citizen, or a citi. "that attempt, they then endeavored to have him re-eli-zen at the adoption of the Constitution. He must be thirty"gible without restraint. It was objected, that the five years old, and fourteen years a resident in the United "choice of a President, to continue in office during good States previously to the election. Officers holding the "behaviour, would be at once rendering the system an most important stations in our Government, can be candi"elective monarchy; and that, if the President was to be dates. Generals, at the head of our armies, may be elect"re-eligible, without any interval of disqualification, it ed, through the influence their office gives them. "would amount to nearly the same thing; since, with the So long as the Romans could preserve the laws first es"powers that the President is to enjoy, and the interest tablished, as to the Consulship, so long could they pre"and influence with which they may be attended, he will serve their liberties-and no longer. For the period of "be almost absolutely certain of being re-elected, from about 400 years, they adhered to those laws with great "time to time, as long as he lives. As the propositions firmness-yielding, however, on some occasions, to the "were reported by the Committee of the whole House, ardor of some young Generals, who were clected before "the President was to be chosen for seven years, and not. the proper age. to be eligible at any time after. In the same manner "the proposition was agreed to in Convention, and so it was reported by the Committee of Detail, although a "variety of attempts were made to alter that part of the "system, by those who were of a contrary opinion, in "which they repeatedly failed; but by never losing sight "of their object, and choosing a proper time for their purpose, they succeeded at length in obtaining the al"teration, which was not made until within the last twelve "days before the Convention adjourned."
In thirteeen of the States, the periods which the Executives can serve are limited, although their powers bear no comparison with those of the President of the United States. These limitations have been found salutary and safe in principle and in practice.
About a century before the Christian era, Marius was elected Consul a second time, when absent at the head of his victorious army, and when no more than three years had elapsed from his former Consulship. This infringement of their Constitution, was with the approbation of the whole Roman People. Marius was elected Consul a third, fourth, and fifth time, in successive years. To his election for the sixth Consulship, much opposition was made; but the wealth and power he had acquired by his former Consulships, enabled him to bear down all his opponents. And, although they had the power afterwards to drive him into exile, yet he returned, was again elected, and died in his seventh Consulship. The laws regulating the election of Consuls were now prostrate. Cinna continued himself in the Consu-hip by his own power. Sylla caused himself to be made perpetual Dictator; and the liberties of Rome were sapped to the foundation, befor Julius Cæsar crossed the Rubicon.
It is the natural tendency of Republican Government to degenerate into elective Monarchy-from elective to hereditary Monarchy, there is but one, but that a certain step. The duration of the Roman Republic was owing An attempt, however, was made to prevent the passing to circumstances of a very peculiar character. In the of law to allow Julius Cæsar to sue for the consulship, while history of mankind, there is nothing like the hatred of the absent, and at the head of his armies. Pompey advocated Romans towards Kingly Government, after the expulsion this law, and Cicero lent the aid of his eloquence in favor of of the Tarquins. For more than four hundred years this the measure. It led to the civil wars, that terminated in hatred was kept up, without abatement. It was a part of Monarchy. Pompey endeavored to counteract his own their religion. It was that which consecrated the act of measures, when too late; and he, as well as Cicero, were Junius Brutus, when he ordered his two sons to execution overwhelmed in the common ruin. for their devotion to Monarchy. During the civil wars There is no portion of the history of mankind, from between Marius and Sylla, Julius Cæsar and Pompey which the citizens of the United States may derive more Kingly Government was still held in detestation. The important lessons, than from that of Augustus Cæsar and Romans submitted to Emperors, when they would not this immediate successors. After he had subdued all his lerate Kings; and kept up the forms of Republicanisn, enemies, and put an end to the civil wars, he made an ofwhen they were slaves to Augustus Cæsar and his suces-fer of yielding up his authority to the Senate and People sors. But had the Romans, when they abolished Honarchy, given the Consular power to a single Executve, elected for four years, and re-eligible from term to term, during life, their mighty Republic would have been but of short duration-their liberty would have been lost long before the wealth of Carthage had corrupted them As their detestation of Kings, immediately before the establishment of the Consular Government, was without bounds, so the precautions they adopted against return of Royal Government, is without example.
of Rome, modestly alleging that, to govern such an Empire, was a task to which the Gods alone were equal. He was, however, persuaded to resume his power, which he consented to do, under the character of Prince of the Senate, for ten years, by which time, as he hoped, peace and prosperity would be restored to the Commonwealth. At the expiration of ten years, he was again appointed for five years; and again for five years: after which he was appointed, for periods of ten years, to the end of his long life. Even in the last year of his life, the ridiculous farce took place of a new appointment for ten years, by those who held their lives and their fortunes at his will and pleasure. And he was able to transfer his empire over to his step-son, Tiberius, who was feared and detested by the Roman People, even before they felt his power. This gloomy tyrant also made a show of resigning his power, but the Senate intreated him, in the most humble manner, Still, the Consular power was great; the office was as he well knew they would do, to accept the administraconsidered as the summit of all popular preferment, and tion of the Government, and not to reject a task to which was eagerly sought for by the ambitious and the powerful. he alone was equal. Tiberius, overcome by the importuNo one, however, could be a candidate for the Consul-nities of all around him, yielded to their intreaties, and ship, under the age of forty-three years, nor before he had condescended to take upon him the labor of the Governpassed through the inferior offices of Questor, Edile, and ment, purely to satisfy their wishes, and not his ownPrætor; nor could he be a candidate unless he appeared adding, that he would keep it only till they should think personally in Rome; and, what was of much more impor-fit to give repose to his old age. He was fifty-six years old tance, in a private capacity. then. He soon found a repose-an infamous repose-in the island of Capre; but he forgot, to the day of his
The Executive power was given to two Consils, with equal authority, that they might be a check upon each | other-elected for a single year, and not re-eligible under ten years to prevent the accumulation of pover in the same individual. And, on the erection of the Tribunes, they had a veto put upon the acts of the Consuls, the more effectually to check their power.
The restrictions as to candidates for the Presidency,