Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/156

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ecutive, in urgent cases, has not, however, been bestowed on the same judges in all the States. The Anglo-Americans derived the institution of Justices of the Peace from a common source; but although it exists in all the States, it is not always turned to the same use. The justices of the peace everywhere participate in the administration of the townships and the counties[1], either as public officers or as the judges of public misdemeanours, but in most of the States the more important classes of public offences come under the cognizance of the ordinary tribunals.

The election of public officers, or the inalienability of their functions, the absence of a gradation of powers, and the introduction of a judicial control over the secondary branches of the administration, are the universal characteristics of the American system from Maine to the Floridas. In some States (and that of New York has advanced most in this direction) traces of a centralized administration begin to be discernible. In the State of New York the officers of the central government exercise, in certain cases, a sort of inspection or control over the secondary bodies[2].

  1. In some of the Southern States the county-courts are charged with all the details of the administration. See the Statutes of the State of Tennessee, arts. Judiciary, Taxes, &c.
  2. For instance, the direction of public instruction centres in the hands of the Government. The legislature names the members of the University, who are denominated Regents; the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of the State are necessarily of