By Charles S. Hyneman, Donald S. Lutz
American Founding and structure
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Extra resources for American Political Writing During the Founding Era, 1760-1805, 2-Vol. Set (v. 1 & 2)
Legislation" is a mistake because [says J] the King, who has the sole exercise of the executive power, has also an essential share in the exercise of the legislative power, normally that of rejecting. By the power of rejecting, the author of The Spirit of the Laws tells us, he means not the right of ordaining by their own authority or of mending what has been ordained by others* for this is the power of resolving. If a prince says he should have a share in legislation by the power of resolving, liberty would be at an end.
This has been the case and may be again. Have we not seen the time when the province must have been deprived of one of its able counsellors, [because otherwise] the same gentleman must have acted as governor and councellor, or in the executive and legislative trusts at the same time. The expediency of the one or the congruity of the other with the constitution, we should be glad to have explained to us. Besides, [21} T . Q . AND J . a gentleman must have an uncommon steadiness of mind to act with impartiality in the one of these truths while he is so nearly connected as to be continually almost within the sphere of the other.
This short piece, published in the September 17, 1764 issue of the Boston Gazette, is representative of many similar essays to be found in newspapers throughout the founding era. To the PUBLISHERS, &c. There is an inseparable connection between publick virtue and publick happiness: Individuals, we are assured, must render an account hereafter of every part of their moral conduct in this state; but communities, as their existence will cease with this world, can neither be rewarded or punish'd as such in the next: It therefore appears rational to conclude, that present rewards and punishments are distributed to them, according to their present moral behaviour.