Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/158

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ed in fewer hands[1]. The same tendency is faintly observable in some other States[2]; but in general the prominent feature of the administration in the United States is its excessive local independence.


I have described the townships and the administration; it now remains for me to speak of the State and the Government. This is ground I may pass over rapidly, without fear of being misunderstood; for all I have to say is to be found in written forms of the various constitutions, which are easily to be procured[3]. These constitutions rest upon a simple and rational theory; their forms have been adopted by all constitutional nations, and are become familiar to us.

In this place, therefore, it is only necessary for me to give a short analysis; I shall endeavour afterwards to pass judgement upon what I now describe.

  1. Thus the district-attorney is directed to recover all fines below the sum of fifty dollars, unless such a right has been specially awarded to another magistrate. Revised Statutes, vol. i. p. 383.
  2. Several traces of centralization may be discovered in Massachusetts; for instance, the committees of the town-schools are directed to make an annual report to the Secretary of State. See Laws of Massachusetts, vol. i. p. 367.
  3. See, at the end of the volume, the text of the Constitution of New York.