Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/136

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



Administration not perceived in America.—Why?—The Europeans believe that liberty is promoted by depriving the social authority of some of its rights; the Americans, by dividing its exercise.—Almost all the administration confined to the township, and divided amongst the town-officers.—No trace of an administrative body to be perceived either in the township, or above it.—The reason of this.—How it happens that the administration of the State is uniform.—Who is empowered to enforce the obedience of the township and the county to the law.—The introduction of judicial power into the administration.—Consequence of the extension of the elective principle to all functionaries.—The Justice of the Peace in New England.—By whom appointed.—County officer:—ensures the administration of the townships.—Court of Sessions.—Its action.—Right of inspection and indictment disseminated like the other administrative functions.—Informers encouraged by the division of fines.

Nothing is more striking to an European traveller in the United States than the absence of what we term the Government, or the Administration. Written laws exist in America, and one sees that they are daily executed; but although everything is in motion, the hand which gives the impulse to the social machine can nowhere be discovered. Nevertheless, as all peoples are obliged to have recourse to certain grammatical forms, which are the foundation of human language, in order to express their thoughts; so all communities are obliged to secure their existence by submitting to a certain dose of authority, without which they fall a prey to anarchy.