Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/151

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


be required, which, however advantageous to the community, is of small importance to individuals, plaintiffs may be less easily found; and thus, by a tacit agreement, the laws may fall into disuse. Reduced by their system to this extremity, the Americans are obliged to encourage informers by bestowing on them a portion of the penalty in certain cases[1]; and to ensure the execution of the laws by the dangerous expedient of degrading the morals of the people.

The only administrative authority above the county magistrates is, properly speaking, that of the Government.


Differences of the States of the Union in their system of administration.—Activity and perfection of the local authorities decreases towards the South.—Power of the magistrate increases; that of the elector diminishes.—Administration passes from the township to the county.—States of New York: Ohio: Pennsylvania.—Principles of administration applicable to the whole Union.—Election of public officers, and inalienability of their functions.—Absence of gradation of ranks.—Introduction of judicial resources into the administration.

I have already premised that after having examined the constitution of the township and the county of New England in detail, I should take a

  1. In cases of invasion or insurrection, if the town-officers neglect to furnish the necessary stores and ammunition for the militia, the township may be condemned to a fine of from 200 to