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the people, in whose name he was to execute the laws and command the military and naval forces of the State. In Massachusetts alone was he entrusted with a qualified veto on the acts of the Legislature.* In nearly all the States some provision was also made for the deputy-governor, or vicepresident, who should assume the executive office in case of the death or disability of the chief magistrate. This office of deputy-governorship was derived directly from the colonial governments, and was even a feature of the organization of the early trading companies.†
* The provision of the Massachusetts constitution of 1780 is so similar to the subsequent provision of the Federal constitution that it is worthy of notice. It provided that no bill should become a law unless approved by the governor; or if disapproved by him, unless passed by a two-thirds vote of the two houses, or not returned by him within five days after being submitted.-Charters and Constitutions, I., 960.
The following synopsis shows the provisions made by the several States concerning the Chief Magistrate,-including the name, qualifications, the mode and term of election, and also provisions for a deputy:
NEW HAMPSHIRE.-"President."-Must be of the Protestant religion, an inhabitant of the State for seven years, thirty years of age, having an estate of £500, one-half of which must be freehold, -elected annually by persons qualified to vote for senators and representatives.-(Charters and Constitutions, II., 1287.) The "Senior Senator" to act as chief magistrate in case of the disability of the president. (Ibid, II., 1289.) MASSACHUSETTS.-" Governor."-Must be an inhabitant of the State for seven years, having an estate within the commonwealth of 1000, and must declare himself to be of the Christian religion,-elected annually by persons qualified to vote for senators and representatives. (Ibid, I., 964) A "LieutenantGovernor," qualified and elected in the same manner as the governor. (Ibid, 967.)
NEW YORK.-"Governor.”—No qualifications specified,-elected for three years by persons qualified to vote for senators. (Ibid, II., 1335.) A "Lieutenant Governor," elected in the same manner as the governor. (Ibid, II., 1336.) NEW JERSEY.-" Governor" and "President of the Council."-No qualification specified, elected annually by the joint ballot of both houses. A "Vice-President," elected by the upper house. (Ibid, II., 1312.) PENNSYLVANIA.-" President."-No qualification specified,-elected annually by joint ballot of the House of Representatives and the Executive Council. A Vice-President," elected in the same manner as the president. (Ibid, II.,
1545-) DELAWARE." President."-No qualification specified, ineligible for three years after expiration of term,-elected for three years by joint ballot of both houses. In case of disability the speaker of the upper house to be vice-president, with the powers of president. (Ibid, I., 274.) MARYLAND." Governor."-No qualification specified, except "a person of wisdom, experience and virtue,"-elected annually by joint ballot of both houses.
What may seem to be the most peculiar feature in the reorganization of the executive department was the provision for some kind of advisory council to the chief magistrate. In the colonial period the council had acted not only as an upper house of the Legislature, but also as a body of advisors to the governor. With the more definite organization of the upper house of the first State Legislatures, a new and distinct body was created to exercise the advisory functions of the previous colonial council. The old colonial council may thus be said to have become differentiated into two separate organs, namely, the State Senate which preserved its legislative and judicial functions, and the new Executive Council which preserved its administrative or advisory functions. This advisory council was established by all the States, except New York and New Jersey, and was intended to share with the chief magistrate the executive functions of the government. It was variously called the "council," the "executive council," the supreme executive council," the "council of state," the "council to the governor," and the " "privy council." Although in two or three cases it received an English name, it does not seem to have had any genetic or structural relation to the English privy council. It was
In case of death, a new governor to be immediately elected in the same manner. (Ibid, I., 824.)
VIRGINIA." Governor."-No qualifications specified, shall not hold office for more than three successive years, nor be re-eligible until the expiration of four years after being out of that office,-elected annually by joint ballot of the two houses. In case of disability the president of the Council of State to act as "Lieutenant-Governor." (Ibid, II., 1910, 1911.) NORTH CAROLINA.—“ Governor."-Must have been an inhabitant of the State for five years, thirty years of age, having a freehold estate worth 1000, not eligible for more than three years in six successive years,-elected annually by joint ballot of the two houses. In case of disability, the speaker of the Senate to exercise the powers of chief magistrate. (Ibid, II., 1412.) SOUTH CAROLINA.—“ Governor."-Must have been a resident of the State for ten years, having a freehold of £10,000, and must be of the Protestant religion,elected bi-ennially by joint ballot of both houses. A "Lieutenant-Governor," qualified and elected in the same manner as the governor. (Ibid, II., 1621.) GEORGIA.-"Governor.”—No qualifications specified, ineligible for more than one year in three,-elected annually by the representatives. In case of disability the president of the Executive Council to act as governor. (Ibid, I., 378, 380, 381.)
composed of from four to twelve members, who were appointed by the Legislature except in Pennsylvania, where they were elected by the people. It had usually conferred upon it no distinct and specified functions-only the general duty of advising the chief magistrate in the execution of the laws. It seems to have been nothing else than a device to perpetuate the advisory functions which had from the earliest times been exercised by the colonial council, or the Court of Assistants.*
The general character of the executive authority and the relation of the chief magistrate to the executive council may perhaps best be illustrated by quoting a single passage from the Virginia constitution of 1776:
*The following synopsis shows the provisions made by the several States concerning the Executive Council-including the name, composition, and the mode and term of elections:
NEW HAMPSHIRE.—“Council."-Composed of two senators and three representatives,-elected annually by joint ballot of both houses. (Charters and Constitutions, II., 1289.)
MASSACHUSETTS.-" Council."-Composed of nine senators, chosen annually by joint ballot of both houses. (Ibid, I., 967.)
NEW YORK.-No provision for a proper Executive Council. Provision was made for a "Council to revise all bills about to be passed into laws by the Legislature" consisting of the governor, the chancellor, and the judges of the Supreme Court, or any two of them. (Ibid, II., 1332.)
NEW JERSEY.-No provision for an Executive Council.
PENNSYLVANIA.-" Supreme Executive Council."-Composed of twelve persons,elected for three years by the qualified voters of the State; election by rotation, one-fourth being chosen each successive year; councillors disqualified from re-election for four years after expiration of term. (Ibid, II., 1544.) DELAWARE." Privy Council."-Composed of four members,-chosen annually, two by the upper house and two by the house of assembly. (Ibid, I., 274.) MARYLAND.-"Council to the Governor."-Composed of five members, twentyfive years of age, three years residents of the State and having a freehold of 1000,-chosen annually by joint ballot of both houses. (Ibid, I., 284.) VIRGINIA.-"Privy Council" or "Council of State."-Composed of eight members, chosen by joint ballot of both houses,-" Two members shall be removed by joint ballot of both houses of assembly at the end of every three years and be ineligible for the next three years,"-these vacancies to be filled by new elections. (Ibid, II., 1911.)
NORTH CAROLINA.-" Council of State."-Composed of seven members,-elected by joint ballot of both houses. (Ibid, II., 1412.)
SOUTH CAROLINA.-" Privy Council."-Composed of the lieutenant-governor and eight other members,-the latter chosen by joint ballot of both houses, by rotation, one-half each successive year. (Ibid, II., 1621.)
GEORGIA." Executive Council."-Composed of members chosen by the representatives out of their own body, two from the representatives of each county, which is entitled to send ten delegates. (Ibid, I., 378.)
"A governor, or chief magistrate, shall be chosen annually by the joint ballot of both houses; [he] shall, with the advice of the council of state, exercise the executive power of the government, and shall not under any pretence exercise any power or prerogative by virtue of any law, statute or custom of England. But he shall, with the advice of the council of state, have the power of granting reprieves or pardons, except when the prosecution has been carried on by the house of delegates; [he] shall not prorogue or adjourn the assembly during their sittings, nor dissolve them at any time."
The chief magistrate of the State, although occupying the same relative position in the government as before, was thus shorn of all the royal features which made the previous governors obnoxious to the people.
Very little need be said in this sketch regarding the judicial system. So far as is manifest, no important changes were made in the form and jurisdiction of the courts. The chief provisions which were necessary were those relating to the appointment of the judges, which had hitherto been largely under the control of the crown. Some States followed the examples of Connecticut and Rhoad Island, which vested the power of appointing judges in the Legislature; while the other States conferred the appointing power upon the governor and his council, or as in the case of New York, upon a special council of appointment consisting of one senator from each "great senatorial district." The English common law and methods of procedure, which had already been accepted so far as they were adapted to the peculiar circumstances of the colonists, remained in force under the State governments, except when superseded by statute law.
In this sketch of the evolution of the colonial governments and their emergence into the first State constitutions I have sought to illustrate the principle of continuity in the growth of American political institutions. The theory that the first State governments were copies of the contemporary government of England is no more tenable than the theory that the subsequent federal government was such a copy. The primitive elements upon which the institutions of this country were
based were, of course, derived ultimately from foreign sources; but in being translated to a new soil they were brought into new relations, and in the process of their development they acquired an independent character such as they had not previously possessed. It is true that the people who made up the early colonies were largely of English origin; but it is also true that they represented only a part, and that the most liberal and progressive part of the English nation. It is also true that they brought with them certain local institutions; but these were mainly the institutions which had survived from the Anglo-Saxon period, and had not been entirely overcome by the centralizing influence of the British crown. They also brought with them certain constitutional rights derived from Magna Charta; but these were the rights which in the time of the Tudors and Stuarts seemed no longer the possession of English subjects. They finally brought with them certain forms of political organization; but these were derived not from the structure of the British monarchy, but from the charter of a subordinate body-politic, the trading company, which charter also furnished the prototype of a written constitution. The migration of the English to America was, in fact, a process of selection, by which the elements most conducive to the growth of republican institutions were translated to an environment more favorable to such growth than that which existed in the mother country.
From the time of their first settlement in America to the formation of the first State constitutions the colonists pursued an independent and continuous course of political progress, in which the spirit of republicanism became harmoniously blended with republican forms. The representative system which grew up in this country, while remotely derived from instincts common to the Teutonic race, took its shape from the peculiar needs of the American people, and acquired a character far more democratic and pure than the contemporary system in England, being in its American form inconsistent with rotten