Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
(?-1899)
BIO
Display paragraphs in this book containing:
Editor/Trans.
First Pub. Date
1881
Publisher/Edition
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Pub. Date
1899
Comments
Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
Start PREVIOUS
16 of 1105
NEXT End

ACT

I.13.1

ACT, the completion or attestation of any transaction in public, and, in certain cases, in private life. By the word act are specially designated certain decisions the result of conferences, congresses, and of various political bodies, such as diets, chambers and parliaments. Thus, the decisions of the diets of the German empire have appeared, since 1729, under the title of Acta Publica. The word act is often used as a synonym of document and even of contract.

I.13.2

—Thus word has another and special meaning. It applies to the laws emanating from the British parliament and clothed with the royal sanction. It is important to note this last formality; for, in parliament, every proposed law preserves the title of bill, and does not acquire the name of act, until it has received the sanction of the crown. The most ancient act still in force is the celebrated Magna Charta.

I.13.3

—Some acts receive their title from the place where the parliament which passed them met. Others still, from their initial designations. Since the reign of Edward II., the most common usage is to give the year of the reign of the king or queen under whom the act or statute was passed, and also the number of the chapter.

I.13.4

—In the United States the term act is applied to any statute or law made by a legislative body, whether the national congress or the legislature of a state. General or public acts in the United States are those which bind the whole community; special acts affect only certain persons or interests.

X.

Start PREVIOUS
16 of 1105
NEXT End

Return to top