a reply to the letter of j fenimore cooper

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: It is quite manifest how you arrived at such an erroneous , opinion. It was by the self-same course which you yourself so pointedly condemn, the unconsidered adoption of precedents from the history of England. You perceived that, in very modern times, the English Parliament, or rather, the House of Commons, had been the successful antagonist of the Crown. You remembered that, in the days of the Commonwealth, it had actually usurped and appropriated the whole public authority. You knew how, during the two last reigns, it had practically exercised complete control over executive measures by means of its power to withhold supplies, or otherwise by its votes to embarrass the royal ministers. You had witnessed its late innovation upon the constitution of government, in the laws of parliamentary reform. Out of these and other analogous acts of the English Parliament, you have extracted a general political theory, that usurpation is to be apprehended from the legislative branch of government, rather than from the executive, that great object of patriot and republican jealousy in all ages of the world. A moment's reflection will satisfy you that this is an erroneous view of the facts. Grant that, in England, ' Parliament has destroyed whatever of balance the government ever had,' and this, too, by ' legislative usurpation.' What usurpation f Why, truly, this which you thus stigmatize as usurpation, and hold up in terror to us, lest we should be over watchful of the monarchical element of our Constitution, and over trustful in the representative and popular element,—this usurpation it is, which gave back to England, by wresting it from the tyranny of the Crown, all that of great and free, in her institutions, which renders them a name of glory among the nations of Europe. Her statesmen boa...
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