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When money is to be obtained, the mass of variety
apparently dissolves, and a profusion of parliamentary praises passes
between the parts. Each admires with astonishment, the wisdom, the
liberality, the disinterestedness of the other: and all of them breathe
a pitying sigh at the burthens of the Nation.

But in a well-constituted republic, nothing of this soldering, praising,
and pitying, can take place; the representation being equal throughout
the country, and complete in itself, however it may be arranged into
legislative and executive, they have all one and the same natural
source. The parts are not foreigners to each other, like democracy,
aristocracy, and monarchy. As there are no discordant distinctions,
there is nothing to corrupt by compromise, nor confound by contrivance.
Public measures appeal of themselves to the understanding of the Nation,
and, resting on their own merits, disown any flattering applications to
vanity. The continual whine of lamenting the burden of taxes, however
successfully it may be practised in mixed Governments, is inconsistent
with the sense and spirit of a republic. If taxes are necessary, they
are of course advantageous; but if they require an apology, the apology
itself implies an impeachment. Why, then, is man thus imposed upon, or
why does he impose upon himself?

When men are spoken of as kings and subjects, or when Government
is mentioned under the distinct and combined heads of monarchy,
aristocracy, and democracy, what is it that reasoning man is to
understand by the terms? If there really existed in the world two or
more distinct and separate elements of human power, we should then see
the several origins to which those terms would descriptively apply;
but as there is but one species of man, there can be but one element of
human power; and that element is man himself. Monarchy, aristocracy, and
democracy, are but creatures of imagination; and a thousand such may be
contrived as well as three.

From the Revolutions of America and France, and the symptoms that have
appeared in other countries, it is evident that the opinion of the world
is changing with respect to systems of Government, and that revolutions
are not within the compass of political calculations. The progress of
time and circumstances, which men assign to the accomplishment of great
changes, is too mechanical to measure the force of the mind, and the
rapidity of reflection, by which revolutions are generated: All the old
governments have received a shock from those that already appear, and
which were once more improbable, and are a greater subject of wonder,
than a general revolution in Europe would be now.

When we survey the wretched condition of man, under the monarchical and
hereditary systems of Government, dragged from his home by one power,
or driven by another, and impoverished by taxes more than by enemies,
it becomes evident that those systems are bad, and that a general
revolution in the principle and construction of Governments is
necessary.

What is government more than the management of the affairs of a Nation?
It is not, and from its nature cannot be, the property of any particular
man or family, but of the whole community, at whose expense it is
supported; and though by force and contrivance it has been usurped
into an inheritance, the usurpation cannot alter the right of things.
Sovereignty, as a matter of right, appertains to the Nation only,
and not to any individual; and a Nation has at all times an inherent
indefeasible right to abolish any form of Government it finds
inconvenient, and to establish such as accords with its interest,
disposition and happiness. The romantic and barbarous distinction of men
into Kings and subjects, though it may suit the condition of courtiers,
cannot that of citizens; and is exploded by the principle upon
which Governments are now founded. Every citizen is a member of the
Sovereignty, and, as such, can acknowledge no personal subjection; and
his obedience can be only to the laws.

When men think of what Government is, they must necessarily suppose it
to possess a knowledge of all the objects and matters upon which its
authority is to be exercised. In this view of Government, the republican
system, as established by America and France, operates to embrace the
whole of a Nation; and the knowledge necessary to the interest of
all the parts, is to be found in the center, which the parts by
representation form: But the old Governments are on a construction that
excludes knowledge as well as happiness; government by Monks, who knew
nothing of the world beyond the walls of a Convent, is as consistent as
government by Kings.

What were formerly called Revolutions, were little more than a change
of persons, or an alteration of local circumstances. They rose and fell
like things of course, and had nothing in their existence or their fate
that could influence beyond the spot that produced them. But what we
now see in the world, from the Revolutions of America and France, are
a renovation of the natural order of things, a system of principles as
universal as truth and the existence of man, and combining moral with
political happiness and national prosperity.

"I. Men are born, and always continue, free and equal in respect of
their rights. Civil distinctions, therefore, can be founded only on
public utility.

"II. The end of all political associations is the preservation of the
natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty,
property, security, and resistance of oppression.

"III. The nation is essentially the source of all sovereignty; nor can
any Individual, or Any Body Of Men, be entitled to any authority which
is not expressly derived from it."

In these principles, there is nothing to throw a Nation into confusion
by inflaming ambition. They are calculated to call forth wisdom and
abilities, and to exercise them for the public good, and not for
the emolument or aggrandisement of particular descriptions of men or
families. Monarchical sovereignty, the enemy of mankind, and the source
of misery, is abolished; and the sovereignty itself is restored to its
natural and original place, the Nation. Were this the case throughout
Europe, the cause of wars would be taken away.

It is attributed to Henry the Fourth of France, a man of enlarged and
benevolent heart, that he proposed, about the year 1610, a plan for
abolishing war in Europe. The plan consisted in constituting an European
Congress, or as the French authors style it, a Pacific Republic; by
appointing delegates from the several Nations who were to act as a
Court of arbitration in any disputes that might arise between nation and
nation.

Had such a plan been adopted at the time it was proposed, the taxes of
England and France, as two of the parties, would have been at least ten
millions sterling annually to each Nation less than they were at the
commencement of the French Revolution.

To conceive a cause why such a plan has not been adopted (and that
instead of a Congress for the purpose of preventing war, it has been
called only to terminate a war, after a fruitless expense of several
years) it will be necessary to consider the interest of Governments as a
distinct interest to that of Nations.

Whatever is the cause of taxes to a Nation, becomes also the means of
revenue to Government. Every war terminates with an addition of taxes,
and consequently with an addition of revenue; and in any event of
war, in the manner they are now commenced and concluded, the power
and interest of Governments are increased. War, therefore, from its
productiveness, as it easily furnishes the pretence of necessity for
taxes and appointments to places and offices, becomes a principal part
of the system of old Governments; and to establish any mode to abolish
war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take
from such Government the most lucrative of its branches. The frivolous
matters upon which war is made, show the disposition and avidity of
Governments to uphold the system of war, and betray the motives upon
which they act.

Why are not Republics plunged into war, but because the nature of their
Government does not admit of an interest distinct from that of the
Nation? Even Holland, though an ill-constructed Republic, and with a
commerce extending over the world, existed nearly a century without
war: and the instant the form of Government was changed in France, the
republican principles of peace and domestic prosperity and economy arose
with the new Government; and the same consequences would follow the
cause in other Nations.

As war is the system of Government on the old construction, the
animosity which Nations reciprocally entertain, is nothing more than
what the policy of their Governments excites to keep up the spirit of
the system. Each Government accuses the other of perfidy, intrigue,
and ambition, as a means of heating the imagination of their respective
Nations, and incensing them to hostilities. Man is not the enemy of
man, but through the medium of a false system of Government. Instead,
therefore, of exclaiming against the ambition of Kings, the exclamation
should be directed against the principle of such Governments; and
instead of seeking to reform the individual, the wisdom of a Nation
should apply itself to reform the system.

Whether the forms and maxims of Governments which are still in practice,
were adapted to the condition of the world at the period they were
established, is not in this case the question. The older they are, the
less correspondence can they have with the present state of things.
Time, and change of circumstances and opinions, have the same
progressive effect in rendering modes of Government obsolete as they
have upon customs and manners.--Agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and
the tranquil arts, by which the prosperity of Nations is best promoted,
require a different system of Government, and a different species of
knowledge to direct its operations, than what might have been required
in the former condition of the world.

As it is not difficult to perceive, from the enlightened state of
mankind, that hereditary Governments are verging to their decline,
and that Revolutions on the broad basis of national sovereignty and
Government by representation, are making their way in Europe, it
would be an act of wisdom to anticipate their approach, and produce
Revolutions by reason and accommodation, rather than commit them to the
issue of convulsions.

From what we now see, nothing of reform in the political world ought to
be held improbable.



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