Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics

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Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1901 - Executive power - 344 pages
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This is the classic foundational study of American political science, by one of the founding figures of the discipline. It is little read today, which is a pity. It is written from a critical ... Read full review



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Page 30 - They extend from the horse with its rider to the stage coach, from the sailing vessel to the steamboat, from the coach and the steamboat to the railroad, and from the railroad to the telegraph, as these new agencies are successively brought into use to meet the demands of increasing population and wealth. They were intended for the government of the business to which they relate, at all times and under all circumstances.
Page 193 - Matches and overmatches! Those terms are more applicable elsewhere than here, and fitter for other assemblies than this. Sir, the gentleman seems to forget where and what we are. This is a Senate; a Senate of equals: of men of individual honor and personal character, and of absolute independence. We know no masters; we acknowledge no dictators.
Page 303 - It is the proper duty of a representative body to look diligently into every affair of Government and to talk much about what it sees.
Page 69 - As a rule, a bill committed is a bill doomed. When it goes from the clerk's desk to a committee-room it crosses a parliamentary bridge of sighs to dim dungeons of silence whence it will never return.
Page 30 - The powers thus granted are not confined to the instrumentalities of commerce, or the postal service known or in use when the Constitution was adopted, but they keep pace with the progress of the country, and adapt themselves to the new developments of time and circumstances.
Page 1 - The laws reach but a very little way. Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state.
Page 194 - The Senate is just what the mode of its election and the conditions of public life in this country make it. Its members are chosen from the ranks of active politicians, in accordance with a law of natural selection to which the State legislatures are commonly obedient; and it is prohable that it contains, consequently, the best men that our system calls into politics.
Page 16 - State governments to encroach upon the national authorities than for the national government to encroach upon the State authorities. The proof of this proposition turns upon the greater degree of influence which the State governments if they administer their affairs with uprightness and prudence, will generally possess over the people; a circumstance which at the same time teaches us that there is an inherent and intrinsic weakness in all federal constitutions; and that too much pains cannot be taken...
Page 84 - Committees to open their sittings often to those who desire to be heard with regard to pending questions: and no one can demand a hearing as of right. On the contrary. they are privileged and accustomed to hold their sessions in absolute secrecy. It is made a breach of order for any member to allude on the floor of the House to anything that has taken place in committee. "unless by a written report sanctioned by a majority of the Committee": and there is no place in the regular order of business...
Page 10 - much remains to be said," and of none is this more true than of the English Constitution. The literature which has accumulated upon it is huge. But an observer who looks at the living reality will wonder at the contrast to the paper description. He will see in the life much which is not in the books ; and he will not find in the rough practice many refinements of the literary theory.

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