« ForrigeFortsett »
and there upon those points of general law which are not in the narrower sense of the word constitutional. This and also the great scarcity of monographs on this part of general law indicate, in fact, that there is no proper interest in such questions. But this is partly explained by the fact that from lack of material many chapters must be written in as many lines as pages would be required in which to treat the subject in a European state.
The United States have immense, and some of the states have very considerable, expanses of public lands. But they do not cultivate them. They simply sell them. These public lands hide mineral treasures of every kind. But the state does not mine them. It simply passes laws as to how private persons can acquire the right of mining. As to how the mining is carried on, it concerns itself little or not at all. There are no mining-officials just as there is no administration of the public domain. Legislation on mining is practically restricted to the point named. The products of agriculture are so enormous that they have become one of the most important factors in the world's economy, but agriculture is so far outside the domain of the federal government that it can do little more than gather statistics about it. The separate states on the whole adhere to the principle that the farmer, like the shoe-maker and tailor, must find out for himself what is good for him. There is a series of questions in which the general good imperiously and urgently demands the interference of the state (for instance in the management of forests) to lead public opinion to such a point that it will allow or demand the setting aside of the doctrine of laisser faire. With absolutely criminal laxness all energetic measures to prevent the forest fires caused by carelessness, which annually destroy millions of property, are still neglected. And although de-foresting has already become a public calamity and danger of terrible magnitude, nothing has yet been done to prevent it except offering rewards of different kinds for tree planting. Neither the United States nor the states, therefore, have taken any especial care about natural products. As far as trade is concerned, the federal govern
1 It seems, therefore, foolish to try at the present time (January, 1885) to create an agricultural department at Washington.
2 Some attempts have been made to promote the improvement and development of natural resources by state aid. Thus, for instance, the constitution of Maryland provides that a “superintendent of labor and agriculture” shall be elected by the people to serve for four years and leaves it to the legislature to determine whether the office shall continue to exist. His chief duties are to be to“ super vise all the state inspectors of agricultural products and fertilizers ” and to
“enquire into the undeveloped resources of wealth of the state of Maryland, more especially concerning those within the limits of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, which belong to the state, and suggest such plans as may be calculated to render them available as sources of revenue." His duties, moreover, embrace those of the former commissioner of immigration and the immigration agent. (Many states have officials who are charged with the advancement of immigration and everything connected therewith.) In Alabama, the constitution of 1868 created a bureau of industrial resources with similar but still more comprehensive duties. Even where the constitutions provide nothing of this kind, something has sometimes been done by legislation here and there. The federal government does a great deal for the discovery and improvement of natural resources by its very exact geological surveys. These show in detail all other particulars about the districts examined. Even the preservation of the wealth of fish in the ocean and in the lakes has been the care of the federal government. The act of February 9, 1871, created a commissioner of fish and fisheries for the study of the questions involved.
1 In this respect the federal government does more than the individual states. If a man plants trees in a certain way for eight years upon ten out of one hundred and sixty acres, and at the end of the eight years has at least six hundred and seventy-five vigorous trees on each of the ten acres, he becomes the owner of the entire tract.
ment comes to the front, for it has to regulate foreign and inter-state commerce. Since it has not hitherto deemed it necessary to have a special minister of commerce, the states, of course, have felt much less need of entrusting special officers with the care of commercial interests: Industry is very greatly influenced by federal tariff legislation, but industries as such lie outside the jurisdiction of the federal government. Factory-laws and business legislation are matters for the separate states, which, so far as I know, have given them so little attention that they can scarcely be called the care and province of the state. Of the many-sided social-political problems so vigorously agitated in Germany at present, the only one, so far as I am informed, which has played any part in state or federal legislation, is the question of the legal or normal day of labor. In what states and in what way the question of child-labor in factories has been regulated by law, I am unable to say; for the laws of all the thirtyeight states are not at my disposal. At least some of the states have put certain limits on individual freedom in this respect. This is evident from the general laws relating to attendance at school. The school system and ecclesiastical affairs will, however, be discussed later in special paragraphs. Here it need only be said that the state's interference with these, in comparison with what all the European states do, is also very slight. The bureau of education at Washington must confine itself, on grounds of constitutional law, to collecting statistical and other materials, elaborating them in a useful way, and bringing them to the knowledge of the people; and even in the individual states a “minister of public instruction” would be a luxury. A “Kultus-minister "-a minister of worship — is simply a non-existent thing for the United States and for the separate states. There is no field in the separate states even for a minister in charge of the channels of public intercourse. The post is controlled by the nation, and railroads and telegraphs with few exceptions are purely private undertakings. “ Public works” these certainly are, but in general they play such a subordinate part that even where there is a board of public works, its duties are often assigned to other higher public officials as secondary work. Public benevolent institutions, hospitals, blind asylums, deafand-dumb asylums, houses of correction for neglected children and juvenile offenders, poor-houses, etc., are supported by all the states. In the new and sparsely settled states, of course everything desirable in this direction is not, and cannot, be done at once. But even in most of the older states the public care for these interests does not go as far and is not as systematic as in the most highly developed nations of Europe. This is partly because even these older states are still in process of development, but in a great measure also because private charity relieves the state of these as well as of many other burdens to an extent which would be strange in Europe. The fact that the states are almost all still in the process of formation, as well as the more intense and comprehensive independent action of various organizations for public purposes within the states, bring about the result that the entire state administrative apparatus, in organization and in efficiency, has crystallized, far less than in Europe, into fixed, systematic and thoroughly constituted forms. The administrative personnel is much more changeful and therefore the administration does not possess the same stability. Although this is fraught with manifold
1 This may not be entirely true of all the states, especially the North Atlantic states.
evils, yet these evils are far less numerous and important than an European observer would suppose. This is partly because the administration has much more limited tasks, and partly because the people have for generations undergone a schooling in self-administration and selfgovernment which the people of continental Europe have never had. If the general law of America has much less extent than that of Europe, on the other hand the chapter on self-government in the public relations of the l'nited States is far more extensive.
$ 93. The ExECUTIVE. At the head of the executive power of all the states is a governor, elected directly by the people. All male inhabitants are eligible as governor, provided they are of full age, have the franchise, and have been for a certain time citizens of the United States and inhabitants of the state. This time is very different in different states. The right of re-election is unlimited in most states. Where this is not the case the same person can occupy the office, at most, only a certain number of years within a fixed period, or else an immediate re-election is prohibited. If the popular elections result in no choice, the legislature elects one of the two candidates who received the highest number of votes. The particular provisions for this event vary greatly. The term of office is from one to four years. In about half the states it is four, and in the majority of the remainder two years. If by death, removal from office or sickness a vacancy occurs in the gubernatorial chair, the lieutenant-governor, elected by the people at the same time as the governor and for the same period, exercises the functions of governor. After the lieutenant-governor, the president of the senate and then the speaker
1 Impeachment is common to all the states. In all essential matters, the procedure follows the prototype of impeachment under the