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The monarchical form,
therefore, could not be a substitute for the democratical, because it
has equal inconveniences.

Much less could it when made hereditary. This is the most effectual of
all forms to preclude knowledge. Neither could the high democratical
mind have voluntarily yielded itself to be governed by children and
idiots, and all the motley insignificance of character, which attends
such a mere animal system, the disgrace and the reproach of reason and
of man.

As to the aristocratical form, it has the same vices and defects with
the monarchical, except that the chance of abilities is better from the
proportion of numbers, but there is still no security for the right use
and application of them.*[17]

Referring them to the original simple democracy, it affords the true
data from which government on a large scale can begin. It is incapable
of extension, not from its principle, but from the inconvenience of its
form; and monarchy and aristocracy, from their incapacity. Retaining,
then, democracy as the ground, and rejecting the corrupt systems of
monarchy and aristocracy, the representative system naturally presents
itself; remedying at once the defects of the simple democracy as to
form, and the incapacity of the other two with respect to knowledge.

Simple democracy was society governing itself without the aid of
secondary means. By ingrafting representation upon democracy, we arrive
at a system of government capable of embracing and confederating all the
various interests and every extent of territory and population; and that
also with advantages as much superior to hereditary government, as the
republic of letters is to hereditary literature.

It is on this system that the American government is founded. It is
representation ingrafted upon democracy. It has fixed the form by a
scale parallel in all cases to the extent of the principle. What Athens
was in miniature America will be in magnitude. The one was the wonder of
the ancient world; the other is becoming the admiration of the present.
It is the easiest of all the forms of government to be understood and
the most eligible in practice; and excludes at once the ignorance and
insecurity of the hereditary mode, and the inconvenience of the simple
democracy.

It is impossible to conceive a system of government capable of acting
over such an extent of territory, and such a circle of interests, as is
immediately produced by the operation of representation. France, great
and populous as it is, is but a spot in the capaciousness of the system.
It is preferable to simple democracy even in small territories. Athens,
by representation, would have outrivalled her own democracy.

That which is called government, or rather that which we ought to
conceive government to be, is no more than some common center in which
all the parts of society unite. This cannot be accomplished by any
method so conducive to the various interests of the community, as by the
representative system. It concentrates the knowledge necessary to the
interest of the parts, and of the whole. It places government in a state
of constant maturity. It is, as has already been observed, never young,
never old. It is subject neither to nonage, nor dotage. It is never
in the cradle, nor on crutches. It admits not of a separation between
knowledge and power, and is superior, as government always ought to be,
to all the accidents of individual man, and is therefore superior to
what is called monarchy.

A nation is not a body, the figure of which is to be represented by
the human body; but is like a body contained within a circle, having a
common center, in which every radius meets; and that center is formed by
representation. To connect representation with what is called monarchy,
is eccentric government. Representation is of itself the delegated
monarchy of a nation, and cannot debase itself by dividing it with
another.

Mr. Burke has two or three times, in his parliamentary speeches, and in
his publications, made use of a jingle of words that convey no ideas.
Speaking of government, he says, "It is better to have monarchy for its
basis, and republicanism for its corrective, than republicanism for its
basis, and monarchy for its corrective."--If he means that it is
better to correct folly with wisdom, than wisdom with folly, I will no
otherwise contend with him, than that it would be much better to reject
the folly entirely.

But what is this thing which Mr. Burke calls monarchy? Will he explain
it? All men can understand what representation is; and that it must
necessarily include a variety of knowledge and talents. But what
security is there for the same qualities on the part of monarchy? or,
when the monarchy is a child, where then is the wisdom? What does
it know about government? Who then is the monarch, or where is the
monarchy? If it is to be performed by regency, it proves to be a farce.
A regency is a mock species of republic, and the whole of monarchy
deserves no better description. It is a thing as various as imagination
can paint. It has none of the stable character that government ought
to possess. Every succession is a revolution, and every regency a
counter-revolution. The whole of it is a scene of perpetual court cabal
and intrigue, of which Mr. Burke is himself an instance. To render
monarchy consistent with government, the next in succession should
not be born a child, but a man at once, and that man a Solomon. It is
ridiculous that nations are to wait and government be interrupted till
boys grow to be men.

Whether I have too little sense to see, or too much to be imposed upon;
whether I have too much or too little pride, or of anything else,
I leave out of the question; but certain it is, that what is called
monarchy, always appears to me a silly, contemptible thing. I compare it
to something kept behind a curtain, about which there is a great deal of
bustle and fuss, and a wonderful air of seeming solemnity; but when, by
any accident, the curtain happens to be open--and the company see what
it is, they burst into laughter.

In the representative system of government, nothing of this can happen.
Like the nation itself, it possesses a perpetual stamina, as well of
body as of mind, and presents itself on the open theatre of the world in
a fair and manly manner. Whatever are its excellences or defects, they
are visible to all. It exists not by fraud and mystery; it deals not in
cant and sophistry; but inspires a language that, passing from heart to
heart, is felt and understood.

We must shut our eyes against reason, we must basely degrade our
understanding, not to see the folly of what is called monarchy. Nature
is orderly in all her works; but this is a mode of government that
counteracts nature. It turns the progress of the human faculties upside
down. It subjects age to be governed by children, and wisdom by folly.

On the contrary, the representative system is always parallel with the
order and immutable laws of nature, and meets the reason of man in every
part. For example:

In the American Federal Government, more power is delegated to the
President of the United States than to any other individual member of
Congress. He cannot, therefore, be elected to this office under the
age of thirty-five years. By this time the judgment of man becomes more
matured, and he has lived long enough to be acquainted with men and
things, and the country with him.--But on the monarchial plan (exclusive
of the numerous chances there are against every man born into the world,
of drawing a prize in the lottery of human faculties), the next in
succession, whatever he may be, is put at the head of a nation, and of
a government, at the age of eighteen years. Does this appear like an
action of wisdom? Is it consistent with the proper dignity and the manly
character of a nation? Where is the propriety of calling such a lad the
father of the people?--In all other cases, a person is a minor until the
age of twenty-one years. Before this period, he is not trusted with the
management of an acre of land, or with the heritable property of a flock
of sheep, or an herd of swine; but, wonderful to tell! he may, at the
age of eighteen years, be trusted with a nation.

That monarchy is all a bubble, a mere court artifice to procure money,
is evident (at least to me) in every character in which it can be
viewed. It would be impossible, on the rational system of representative
government, to make out a bill of expenses to such an enormous amount
as this deception admits. Government is not of itself a very chargeable
institution. The whole expense of the federal government of America,
founded, as I have already said, on the system of representation, and
extending over a country nearly ten times as large as England, is but
six hundred thousand dollars, or one hundred and thirty-five thousand
pounds sterling.

I presume that no man in his sober senses will compare the character
of any of the kings of Europe with that of General Washington. Yet, in
France, and also in England, the expense of the civil list only, for the
support of one man, is eight times greater than the whole expense of
the federal government in America. To assign a reason for this, appears
almost impossible. The generality of people in America, especially the
poor, are more able to pay taxes, than the generality of people either
in France or England.

But the case is, that the representative system diffuses such a body
of knowledge throughout a nation, on the subject of government, as to
explode ignorance and preclude imposition. The craft of courts cannot be
acted on that ground. There is no place for mystery; nowhere for it
to begin. Those who are not in the representation, know as much of
the nature of business as those who are. An affectation of mysterious
importance would there be scouted. Nations can have no secrets; and the
secrets of courts, like those of individuals, are always their defects.

In the representative system, the reason for everything must publicly
appear. Every man is a proprietor in government, and considers it a
necessary part of his business to understand.



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