Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/162

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try before the legislative body, and points out the means which he thinks may be usefully employed in providing for them; he is the natural executor of its decrees in all the undertakings which interest the nation at large[1]. In the absence of the legislature, the Governor is bound to take all necessary steps to guard the State against violent shocks and unforeseen dangers.

The whole military power of the State is at the disposal of the Governor. He is the commander of the militia, and head of the armed force. When the authority which is by general consent awarded to the laws is disregarded, the Governor puts himself at the head of the armed force of the State, to quell resistance and to restore order.

Lastly, the Governor takes no share in the administration of townships and counties, except it be indirectly in the nomination of Justices of the Peace, which nomination he has not the power to cancel[2].

The Governor is an elected magistrate, and is generally chosen for one or two years only; so that he always continues to be strictly dependent upon the majority who returned him.

  1. Practically speaking, it is not always the Governor who executes the plans of the legislature; it often happens that the latter, in voting a measure, names special agents to superintend the execution of it.
  2. In some of the States the justices of the peace are not elected by the Governor.