Page images
[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


able pens,

If an apology is needed for the publication of a book on a subject which has been treated by many

it may perhaps be found in the growth of the Constitution of the United States which, though confined by its character as a written instrument to certain bounds, was yet intended “to live and take effect in all successions of ages.” The delegates who sat in the federal convention wisely, therefore, limited themselves to enumerating the powers conferred on the government and the objects for which they were to be exercised, and left the task of devising the means to those who were to administer the system which they had framed. The government of the United States, consequently, has a capacity for adaptation “ to the various crises of human affairs,” which is rarely found in written constitutions. Although it is the same government which went into operation a century ago, it has undergone the development incident to maturity, and can act with an assured strength which was necessarily wanting at the commencement.

« PreviousContinue »