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THE strife of parties, in which the United States of America have been plunged since the close of the war, has gradually become more and more embittered every day, and has cul- minated in a duel between Congress and the President, which may perhaps have important results in the political constitution of the States. The opposition shown by President Johnson to the course of the dominant party has been overruled, and his veto of one mea- sure after another has been rendered ineffec- tual, by the existence in both Houses of a majority of two-thirds against his policy, ena- ,71 bling them to pass their measures in spite of him. The effect has been to weaken the Presidential authority to a material degree, and to elevate Congress into the supreme and almost the sole power in the State. Not content with thwarti-ig his plans and over-riding his power, the Houses are evidently about now to attempt to humiliate the Presi- dent by a further step, which has heen talked of for some time past, but was regarded by moderate men as too extravagant to contem- plate as a reality. They, or at least the party which has obtained the upper hand, are bent upon impeaching Andrew Johnson for betray- ing the interests of the country, and have actually commenced proceedings with this view. We learn from Washington that the House of Representatives, by a majority of 108 against 38, have directed a committee to inquire into offences alleged to have been committed by the President against the con- stitution. This is the first step towards the threatened impeachment, which the Radicals are determined to press. The adoption of this course by Congress will produce more surprise in this country than in the United States, where it has been talked of for months past, although at times only as a remote contingency. Looking on the entire questions in dispute from a distance, and with the calmness belonging to spectators of a strug- gle in which they are not themselves engaged, the people of this country have sympathised strongly with President Johnson from the first, and warmly approved his liberal and concili- atory policy towards the vanquished Southern people. But it has made him bitter and de- termined enemies, who do not hesitate to de- nounce him as a traitor, and to couple him with President Davis. These men are ready to proceed to every extremity the constitution allows, probably less in the hope of convicting him of guilt than in the certainty of harassing him during the remainder of his term of office, and injuiing if not destroying his influence in the country. It is to be regretted that President Johnson has lately exposed himself to the deserved censure of some of his previous .supporters, and weakened his own position, by the most inju- dicious and violent attacks upon his enemies in congress, whom he has not scrupled to charge with plotting to bring about his assas- sination. Dignity is a quality in which Ame- rican statesmen and presidents are commonly enough deficient, but the want of it in this case has had a very mischievous effect. The President is not without a party of his own, and friends ready to engage warmly in his defence, and he might safely leave his case to them and to the good sense of the country. But there is a deal of combativeness in Presi- dent Johnson, and it is apparently impossible for him to rest, when assailed, without coming forth to assail in return. The threatened im- peachment has not had the effect of inducing him to waver in his course. The same des- patch which brings us intelligence of the ac- tion of the House of Representatives, informs us also that he had put his veto on another bill, providing for negro suffrage in the district of Columbia. Whether he is wise thus to continue his opposition to a course in favour of which Congress has declared itself so strongly, may be open to question but it was probably never desired by the framers of the constitu- tion that the President of the country should be compelled to give his assent to measures which he believed to be prejudicial to its real interests; and it is hard to see how President Johnson can be justly accused of dereliction of duty, for exercising a power which the consti- tution has undeniably placed in his hands. The necessary check upon his authority is provided by the proviso that a sufficient majority of the Houses may pass their measures notwithstand- ing .his veto, as they have recently done on more than one occasion. It is hard, then, to see from this side of the water how the talk of impeachment can amount to anything more than an annoyance, which the House has shown itself anxious to inflict upon the President; on every possible opportunity. How far it can itself descend from its own dignity in following this course, is shown by the fact that from the last Appropriation Bill it struck out the paltry salary of the Presi- derit's I I Clcrk of Ilai (Tons officer whose duty it was to examine petitions for pardon, and transmit them when granted. Reuter's telegram conveys the information, that on the 7th of January a resolution was introduced into the House of Representatives distinctly impeaching President Johnson. How this matter will end we know not; but this we know, that the entire conflict, and the whole course of political events in America since the war, afford matter for deep regret to the best friends of peace and union in the States, and certainly do not tend to exalt our opinion of Republiean institutions.

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BRECON.

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TOWN COUNCIL AND BOARD OF…

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