Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/239

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lamities of anarchy or of conquest, every time they might have to elect a new sovereign. In America society is so constituted that it can stand without assistance upon its own basis ; nothing is to be feared from the pressure of external dangers ; and the election of the President is a cause of agitation, but not of ruin.


Skill of the American legislators shown in the mode of election adopted by them.—Creation of a special electoral body.—Separate votes of these electors.—Case in which the House of Representatives is called upon to choose the President.—Results of the twelve elections which have taken place since the Constitution has been established.

Besides the dangers which are inherent in the system, many other difficulties may arise from the mode of election, which may be obviated by the precaution of the legislator. When a people met in arms on some public spot to choose its head, it was exposed to all the chances of civil war resulting from so martial a mode of proceeding, besides the dangers of the elective system in itself. The Polish laws, which subjected the election of the sovereign to the veto of a single individual, suggested the murder of that individual, or prepared the way to anarchy.

In the examination of the institutions, and the political as well as social condition of the United