In the interval between his nomination as Protector and the summoning of his first parliament in September 1654, Cromwell was empowered together with his council to legislate by ordinances; and eighty-two were issued in all, dealing meat of with numerous and various reforms and including the reorganization of the treasury, the settlement Lilburne and the anabaptists, and John Rogers and the Fifth Monarchy men, were prosecuted only on account of their direct attacks upon the government, and Cromwell in his broadminded and tolerant statesmanship was himself in advance of his age and his administration.
His words are wisdom to those legislators who contemplate no essential reform in the existing government; but for thinkers, and those who legislate for all time, he never once glances at the subject.
When persuasion failed and imperial interests, or the rights of unrepresented minorities, were involved the power of the Crown to legislate by order in council could be (and was) freely used.
The legal sovereign: the person or persons who, according to the law of the land, legislate or administer the government.
The railway redemption contracts were in fact immediately voted by parliament, with a clause pledging the government to legislate in favor of farming out the railways to private companies.
Mr Laurence Gomme (Primitive Folk-Moots, pp. 1 55, 156) takes up the matter at this point, and places the tradition implied by Cade's significant action as belonging to times when the London Stone was, as other great stones were, the place where the suitors of an open-air assembly were accustomed to gather together and to legislate for the government of the city.
This jurisdiction is undoubtedly extensive, comprising among others, power to legislate concerning trade and industry, criminal law, taxation, quarantine, marriage and divorce, weights and measures, legal tender, copyrights and patents, and naturalization and aliens.
In each there was a governor, with minor executive officers, a legislature, and a judiciary; and although the Crown retained the power of altering the charter, and the British parliament could (in strict legal view) legislate over the head of the colonial legislature so as to abrogate statutes passed by the latter, still in practice each colony was allowed to manage its own affairs and to enact the laws it desired.
If the British parliament was unfit to legislate for America, and if, as was undoubtedly the case, it was impossible to create a representative body which was fit to legislate, it would follow that the American colonies could only be fairly governed as practically independent states, though they might possibly remain, like the great colonies of our own day, in a position of alliance rather than of dependence.
Moreover, the English Houses claimed and exercised the power to legislate directly for Ireland without even the nominal concurrence of the parliament in Dublin.