the dangers of the elective system applied to the head of the State, are augmented or decreased by the peculiar circumstances of the people which adopts it. However the functions of the executive power may be restricted, it must always exercise a great influence upon the foreign policy of the country, for a negotiation cannot be opened or successfully carried on otherwise than by a single agent. The more precarious and the more perilous the position of a people becomes, the more absolute is the want of a fixed and consistent external policy, and the more dangerous does the elective system of the chief magistrate become. The policy of the Americans in relation to the whole world is exceedingly simple; and it may almost be said that no country stands in need of them, nor do they require the cooperation of any other people. Their independence is never threatened. In their present condition, therefore, the functions of the executive power are no less limited by circumstances than by the laws; and the President may frequently change his line of policy without involving the State in difficulty or destruction.
Whatever the prerogatives of the executive power may be, the period which immediately precedes an election, and the moment of its duration, must always be considered as a national crisis, which is perilous in proportion to the internal embarrassments and the external dangers of the country. Few of the nations of Europe could escape the ca-