Constitutional Government in the United States

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Columbia University Press, 1908 - Constitutional law - 236 pages
One of the genuine classics of American political science literature. Constitutional Government in the United States is also a subtle and influential criticism of the American founding fathers produced during the Progressive Era. Wilson's interpretation of the Constitution shaped the thought of scholars and students of American politics. His definition of constitutional government and the place of the United States in the development of constitutional theory continues to shape discourse today. Wilson discusses the three branches of government in the United States, the relation between the states and the federal government, and party government in a manner quite distinct from the founding fathers.

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Page 70 - The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can.
Page 69 - But the Constitution of the United States is not a mere lawyers' document: it is a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age.
Page 54 - Leadership and control must be lodged somewhere; the whole art of statesmanship is the art of bringing the several parts of government into effective co-operation for the accomplishment of particular common objects — and party objects at that.
Page 166 - The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
Page 79 - We have but begun to see the presidential office in this light; but it is the light which will more and more beat upon it, and more and more determine its character and its effect upon the politics of the nation. We can never hide our President. again as a mere domestic officer. We can never again see him the mere executive he was in the thirties and forties. He must stand always at the front of our affairs, and the office will be as big and as influential as the man who occupies it.
Page 78 - President," he writes now (p. 78), "can never again be the mere domestic figure he has been throughout so large a part of our history. The Nation has risen to the first rank in power and resources. The other nations of the world look askance upon her, half in envy, half in fear, and wonder with a deep anxiety what she will do with her vast strength.
Page 173 - It cannot, indeed, be settled by the opinion of any one generation, because it is a question of growth, and every successive stage of our political and economic development gives it a new aspect, makes it a new question.
Page 191 - And this fact is just as significant and as characteristic a trait of human behavior as is the opposite disposition to respond to every change in the social atmosphere of the world about him. It is for this reason, as much as for any other, that man invariably builds himself...
Page 69 - He may be both the leader of his party and the leader of the nation, or he may be one or the other. If he lead the nation, his party can hardly resist him. His office is anything he has the sagacity and force to make it.

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