a treatise on the law of public contracts

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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: A TREATISE ON THE LAW OF PUBLIC CONTRACTS PART I. THE POWER TO CONTRACT CHAPTER I KINDS OF POWERS § 1. Inherent Power. The nation and the State being sovereigns have inherent power to contract, but that attribute cannot strictly be said to exist in the political subdivisions of the State which are called municipal corporations. Inherent power embodies the idea of permanence and inseparableness. Political subdivisions possess no power to contract. If this power inhered in them as accident does in substance the exercise of what was inherent could not be denied. While many authorities declare that since political subdivisions of the State are bodies corporate and politic, they, therefore, possess and enjoy the same powers which private corporations possess and enjoy,1 it might more appropriately be said that such power is implied from the grant of other powers as the only suitable and available means of giving expression to or carrying out those powers. The true rule seems to be that municipalities must receive their powers by express grant, or by necessary implication from such express grant, and that they accordingly derive their solesource of power from legislative enactment.1 Municipalities and political subdivisions generally can exercise only such power to contract as is expressly conferred or necessarily implied from or incident to the power expressly conferred or such power as is essential to the carrying out of the declared objects and purposes.2 Where, therefore, the power is sought to be derived, because not express, it is rather implied in and incidental to express powers and purposes, than inherent in the corporation. The State has the power to prohibit municipalities from contracting and it may indeed provide another agency to make contracts for them. As ... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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