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Harvard Historical Monographs.


The first of the series of Historical Monographs is a discussion of "The Veto Power: Its Origin, Development and Function in the Government of the United States," by Mr. E. C. Mason, instructor in Political Economy. The monograph, the result of special research under the direction of Dr. Hart, opens with a sketch of the derivation of vetoes from the royal prerogative in England. It goes on to discuss vetoes in United States history, under the heads of vetoes affecting the form of government, the distribution of its powers, and their exercise. Each class is elaborately treated. The occasion of each veto is discussed, its effect, and its constitutionality. Each chapter ends with a section devoted to the general political and constitutional effect of the vetoes. The relation of vetoes to the financial powers of the government, especially the banks, tariffs, and internal improvements forms the most important branch of the discussion. A chapter on procedure and the political development of the veto power, with half a dozen appendices brings the work to a close.

The most admirable features of the monograph are its thoroughness and careful arrangement. Every veto issued has been searched out, the monograph being more complete in this respect than an official collection made by Congress. The table of contents, references, paging, and indexing, are all arranged to give the greatest possible aid to historical students. The appendices include a chronological list of vetoes with complete references to all the pages of the Congressional journals on which the veto is mentioned; a list of protests; Confederate vetoes; bibliography, and so forth.

The monograph is intended not only to give the anthor's conclusions on the subject, but to form a guide to students working over the same material. In both respects it seems adapted to become the final authority on the Veto Power.

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