Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/221

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authority he cannot be said to be perfectly independent; the Senate takes cognizance of his relations with foreign powers, and of the distribution of public appointments, so that he can neither be bribed, nor can he employ the means of corruption. The legislators of the Union acknowledged that the executive power would be incompetent to fulfill its task with dignity and utility, unless it enjoyed a greater degree of stability and of strength than had been granted it in the separate States.

The President is chosen for four years, and he may be re-elected; so that the chances of a prolonged administration may inspire him with hopeful undertakings for the public good, and with the means of carrying them into execution. The President was made the sole representative of the executive power of the Union; and care was taken not to render his decisions subordinate to the vote of a council,—a dangerous measure, which tends at the same time to clog the action of the Government and to diminish its responsibility. The Senate has the right of annulling certain acts of the President; but it cannot compel him to take any steps, nor does it participate in the exercise of the executive power.

The action of the legislature on the executive power may be direct; and we have just shown that the Americans carefully obviated this influence: but it may, on the other hand, be indirect. Public assemblies which have the power of depriving an