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Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States/The Principles of the Policy of the United States, and of the English Policy



Before we proceed to the consideration of the policy of the United States, it is necessary to discover a political analysis, founded in some moral principle; because government is as strictly subject to the moral, as a physical being is to the physical laws of nature. Persons are not principles; and hence the operations of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy (governments founded in persons) are fluctuating; generally evil, but sometimes good; whereas the effects of a moral principle are ever the same. Mr. Adams, however, adopts the ancient analysis of governments, asserts that it comprises all their generical forms, and adds "that every society naturally produces an order of men, which it is impossible to confine to an equality of rights;" and he erects his system upon the foundations of this ancient analysis, and of a natural or unavoidable aristocracy. If society cannot exist without aristocracy, (as it cannot, if aristocracy is natural to society,) then democracy and monarchy cannot be generical forms of government, unless they can exist without society or with aristocracy. This disagreement between the ancient analysis, and a system bottomed upon it, at the threshold of their association; and Mr. Adams's idea that one of his generical forms of government was a natural consequence of society, without contending that the others were, excited doubts of the correctness of that analysis. If monarchy, aristocracy and democracy are all natural or generical forms of government, nature has determined on Mr. Adams's mixed government, and his labours in favour of her will, were superfluous; but if either of these forms is artifidial; it could not be natural of generical, and an invention of one form by the human intellect, is no proof that it is unable to invent another. The terms monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, convey adequate ideas of particular forms of government, but they are insufficient for the purpose of disclosing a government which will certainly be free and mode* ate, since the effects of each depend on the administration of wise and good, or of weak and A>icked men : and all are therefore founded in the same principle, however differing in form. This both suggests a doubt of the soundness of the ancient analysis, and a solu- tion of the phenomenon "that all these natural or generical torms of government should produce bad effects." The effects of these three forms are bad, because they are all founded on one principle, namely, an irresponsible undivided power ; and that principle is bad. We want an analysis, distinguishing governments in point of substance, and not iijnited to form.

The moral qualities of human nature are good and evil. I An analysis founded in tJiis truth, however general, can I alone ascertain the true character, and foretell the effects of I any form of government, or of any social measure. Every such form and measure must have a tendency to excite the good or the evil moral qualities of man ; and according to its source, so will be its tendency with morcil certaijsiy.

The strongest moral propensity of man, is to do good to himself. This begets a propensity to do evil to others, for the sake of doing good to himself. A sovereignty of the people, or self-government, is suggested bj the first moral propensiiyj responsibility, division, and an exclusion of monarchy and aii^toeracy, by the second.

Self love, being the strongest motive to do evil to others, as well as good to ourselves, will operate as forcibly to excite an individual or a fnction to injure a nation for advancing self good, as to excite a nation to preserve its own happiness. Therefore, whilst national self government, is founded in the stron.srest moral quar- ty for pro dueirig national good; every other species of government, is founded in the strongest moral quality for produeiing national evil.

The objection to this analysis is, that nations may op- press individuals or minorities. An imperfection does not destroy comparative superiority ; and should one be found in a forui of government bottomed upon the quality of a na- tion's love for itself, it will not diminish the defects of forms, bottomed upon the self love of individuals or minorities, if these are as likely to oppress majorities, as majorities are to oppress these.

The quality, self love, stimulates in propertiom to the good or gratification in view. This prospect to an indivi- dual or minority, having power to extract good or gratifi- cation from a nation, must be infinitely more alluring, timn to a nation, having power to extract good or gratification from an individual or a minority j and as the extiteine/3t to injure others, for gratifying ourselves, will be in proportion to the extent of the gratification, it follows, that an indivi- dual or minority will be infinitely more likely to oppress a nation for self gratification, tlian a naHon, for the same end, to oppress an individual or minority.

The certainty with which moral inferences flow from moral causes, is illustrated by a computation of the cases, in which the quality of self love, has induced nations to op- press individuals, or individuals to oppress nations. The anomaly of a nation's becoming a tyrant over an individual,, would be nearer to the character of prodigy, than even thai of monarchy or aristocracy, preferring- national good cr, gratification, to its own.

It is from the want of stjme test, to det^mine whether a form of government, or law, is founded hi the good or evil qualities of man, that the disciples of monarchy, aristocra- cy and democracy, have entered into the field of eoFMti'over- sy, with so much zeal. Eaeli, though blinded to W^fc-, defeels of the system he defends, from education, habit, or a supposed necessity of enlisting under one, clearly discern. the defects of the system espoused by his adversary ; and despises him for a blindness, similar to his own. That monarchy, aristocracy and democracy will all make men miserable, is universally assented to, by two out of the three members of this analysis itself; and a contrary effect from either, is allowed by two to one to be out of the common course of events. A violation of the relation between cause rind effect, awakens the adr^iiration of mankind, whenever a, ^ood moral effect proceeds from a government founded io evil moral qualities.

It is not enough for the illustration of our analysis, that a good effect from either monarchy, aristocracy or demo- r«racy, is by this majority considered as a phenomenon ; a /Vv.' reasons, accounting for it according to the principles of ^bat analysis, will be added.

Monarchy and aristocracy, have the strongest tendency of any conceivable human situation, f o excite the evil moral quality, or propensity, of injuring others for our own bene- fit, both by the magnitude of the temptation, and tlic power of reacliing it. A long caialogue of evil moral qualities, vre included in this. These forms of govern n^.ent are i here- jf'ore founded in tiie evil moral qualities of man. and it is un- natural evil moral qualities, should produce good mo- ral elTcctR.

Mr. Adams allows that evil consequences unavoidably arise from monarchy and aristoeracy, by endeavouring to provide against them. The probable si'.cccss of his endeavour will appear, by concisely reciting their cause. It consists in a degree of power capable of exciting evil moral qualities, craving self gratification i:t the expense of others. Nothing can preverit this excitement, but a removal of the power; and if the power is removed, th"? principle of monarchy or aristocracy is destroyed, though the name should re- main. Mr. Adams's remedy can only remove the cause or leave ihe cause. If it remains, the effects follow. Our state governours would not be monarehs or despots, if they were called Kings : because they want the dcgixc of power accessary to excite and bring into action, the evil moral qualities of monarchs or despots. Henry the eighth would have been a monarch or despot, though he had been called goveraour, because he possessed that degree of power. His species of government was founded in evil, and that of the States in good moral qualities.

Democracy is not less calculated to excite evil moral qualities of one kind, than monarchy and aristocracy of ano- ther. I By democracy is Hieant, a nation exercising person- ally the functions of government. Turbulence, instability, injustice, suspicion, ingratitude, and excess of gratitude, are among the evil moral qualities, which this form of government has a tendency to excite. Democracy, therefore, is a form of government founded in evil moral qualities."

All these forms of government were intended to be destroyed in America, and a government, founded in the good moral qualities of man to be erected; that is, one which would cautiously avoid to excite his evil qualities, and care- fully attempt to suppress them if they should appear.

Democracy was destroyed by election; and one errour of Mr. Adams consists in proposing to bring into the field monarchy and aristocracy, after their plebeian foe no long- er exists. As election has destroyed democracy, election, responsibility and division of power, were intended also to destroy monarchy and aristocracy. And if democracy may be destroyed, or at least filtered of its evil moral qualities by election, why may not monarchy and aristocracy be de- stroyed or filtered of their evil qualities likev, ise by elec- tion, responsibility and a division of power? Or if for the sake of a balance of orders, it would be adv iseable to revive monarchy and aristocracy in their natural malignancy, ought not democracy to be also revived in its natural ma- ligDancy, to make out a complete system of checks and balances, in conformity to the ideas of Aristotle, who is quoted by Mr. Adams?

Aristotle, and all the ancient authors, by the term "democracy," intended to describe a nation, legislating Judging and sometimes even executing in person. Such is the form of government to which is ascribed all the evils of democracy, and which has in reality produced those evils. And Mr. Adams has transplanted all tljcse evils from this ancient democracy into bis book, as charges against the elective and responsible system of America ; with what degree of justice, will depend upon a resemblance between our system, and a nation exercising political and civil pow er within the walls of Athens or Rome. The democra- cy of Athens, and our policy, were founded in p'inciples exactly opposite to each other. One was calculated to ex- cite a multitude of evil moral qualities, which the other will suppress, by representation, responsibility and division. An imperfect representation in England, suppressed the fivil effects attached to the Athenian democracy, an^! though imperfect, evinced the excellence of the principle of i-epre- sentation, by moderating the malignancy of moni^i chy and aristocracy. Had democracy, monarchy and aristocracy, according to the ancient ideas annexed to these terms, been mingled aud balanced, a government would have been pro- duced, which may be contemplated, by placing an English king at the head of the democracy and aristocracy of Rome. By the addition of one good principle to two bad ones, the paroxysms of good, and the predominance of evil, under the English form, are accounted for. And by removing the evil principles, monarchy and aristocracy, to make room for division and responsibility j as the evil principle, democracy, has been removed by representation ; mankind will proba- bly escape the calamities inflicted by these evil principles, on the English nation.

The inherent evil nature of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, can only furnish a solution of the fact, testified by all history, " that each separately, any two, and the three however mingled, have uniformly produced cvjJS eifeets, which have driven mankind into a multitude of exchanges and modifications." From ail, disappointment has issued., because good effects could not be extracted from pvH principles. At length, all philosophers, politicians and learned men have been taught by experience to unite in one opinion. They universally agree, that monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, acting separately, will produce evil to nations ; they agree, that any two will operate oppressively ; and they also agree that the three, however blended, excluding the modern idea of representation, will also operate oppressively. Is it then possible, that the ancient analysis of political systems, which separately or coinbined, presented only a form of government now universally acknowledged to be bad, could have been correct?

From a belief that a political analysis does exist, capa- ble of arranging all forms of government into two classes ; one rooted in good, and tiie other in evil moral qualities ; and that monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, singly or united, belong to the latter class : the idea has been brought before the reader preparatory to arguments designed to pi-ove, that the civil policy of the United States must be assigned to the first class ,* that it is of course at enmity with Mr. Adams's mixture of monarchy, aristocracy and representation ; but that certain of its details and laws, are at enmity with its essential principles, for want of some distinct analysis as a test to ascertain their nature and efteets. A jjosition contended for is, " that political tempt- ations, which propel to vice, are Ibumicd in evil moral principles."

The reader is solicited for the last time, to keep in mind, that in this essay, the term "democracy" means "a government administered by the people," and not the right of the people to institute a government, nor the responsibility of magistrates to the people." The contrast of the ancient analysis between its three forms of government, is imperfect unless democracy is thus understood, since the two terms opposed to it, are usetl to specify governments, as numerically administered. Monarchy and aristocracy mean, governments administered by one or a few, and not a right in one or a few to institute a government, and make it responsiblc to the institiitor. Demoeraey also meant, a government administepetl by the people personally. The distinction is considered as useful, for relieving the mind from j4;i association, between the sovereignty of the people, and th vils produced by a nation's exercising the functions «f gOYcniment.

Let us now take up the tliread of this essay. I have endeavonred to prove that aristocracy is artificial and not natura?; that the aristocracies of superstition and landed i<fealtl; jave been destroyed hy knowledge, commerce and nlienation: that a new aristocracy has arisen during the last century from paper and patronage, of a character so diiTerent from titled orders, as not to be compressible with- in Mr. Adams's system; and that his system is evidently defective, in having silently past over this powerful aristo- cracy, now existing in England.

By the civil policy of the United States, I mean the J Igeneral and state constitutions, as forming one systemjjj Most of the state constitutions existed when Mr. Adams wrote, and no new principles have been introduced by those since created. The diiferences among them all, consist only in modifications of the same principles. As immaterial is the anachronism of applying Mr. Adams's reasoning to the general constitution, I>ecause if his system is inimical to that, it must have been more so to the state constitutions he professed to defend; as in that, the executive and senato- rial lines are drawn with a stronger pencil than in those.[1]

Mr. Adams's system simply is, " that nature will cre- ate an aristocracy, and that policy ought to create a king, or a single, independent executive power, and a house of popular representatives, to balance it."

Let one of the state constitutions speak for the rest. That of Massachusetts declares, that "all men are born free and equal." That " no man, or corporation, or association of men, have any other title to obtain advantages. or particular and exclusive privileges, distioct from those

" A-lsTi)s's Def 3 v. IBT F: '1'^'? of the community, than what arises from the consideration of services, rendered to the publiek. And this title being, in nature, neither hereditary, nor trausiuissible to children, or descendants, or relations by blood, the idea of a man born a magistrate, lawgiver or judge, is absurd and unnatural." That the people have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves." That ** government is instituted for the common good, for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honour, or private interest of any one

  • ' man, family, or class of men." And that " in order to prevent those, who are vested with authority, from hecouring oppressors, the people have a right, at such periods,

« and in such manner, as they shall establish by their frame " of government, to cause their publiek officers to return <• to private life ,* and to fill up vacant places, by certain

  • ' and regular elections and appointments." Two princi-

ples are clearly expressed by them all ; one, that every person in authority is responsible and removable j the otlier, that talents, virtue, and political power, are not inheritable.

These principles are precisely levelled at the opinions', that monarchy is divine, and nobility natural ; the first as- serted by Filmer, the last by Mr. Adams. And they treat the idea of hereditary power, contended for by Mr. Adam.s as « absurd and unnatural."[2] The constitutions build their policy upon the basis of human equality — " all men are born free and equal ;" and erect the artificial inequalities of civil government, with a view of preserving and defending the natural equality of individuals. Mr. Adams builds his policy upon the basis of human inequality by nature — " aristocracy is natural ;" and proposes to produce an artificial level or equality, not of individuals, but of orders, composed of individuals naturally unequal. Yet the disciples of the balance, accuse the republicans of levelism. It is necessary to affix a correct idea lo the term "equality," contended for by the constitutions, and denied by Mr. Adams. They do not mean an equality of stature, strength or understanding, but an equality of moral riglits and duties. The constitutions admit of no inequality in these moral rights and duties, excepting that produced by tem- porary and responsible power, conferred " for the common good." Mr. Adams contends for a natural inequality of moral rights and duties, in conteniling for a natural aristocracy. The constitutions establish the inequalities of tem- porary and responsible power, with a view of maintaining an equality of moral rights and duties among the individuals of society; and Mr. Adams proposes orders, with a view of maintaining his natural inequality among men, by balancing or equalising the rights of orders.

The constitutions consider a nation as made of individuals; Mr. Adams's system, as made of orders. Nature, by the constitutions, is considered as the creator of men; by the system, of orders. The first idea suggests the sovc- reighty of the people, and the second refutes it; because, if nature creates the ranks of the one. the few and the many, the nation must be compounded of these ranks; and one rank, politically, is the third part of a nation. These ranks composing the nation, have of course a power to alter the form of government at any time, without o>n;'illing the people, because the people do not constitute a.e nation. An illustration of this idea has several iimes occurred in the English practice of Mr. Adams's system.

By most of the constitutions, a plural executive is created ', by a few, a qualified negative upon laws is given to the executive power; but in all, that power is made subordinate to the legislative power. Mr. Adams declares, that a single executive, having an unqualified negative upon the laws, and power sufficient to defend himself against the other two branches of tS»e legislature, is essential to his system. In short, Mr. Adams's system is bottomed upon a classic ileation of men; our constitutions, upon an application of moral principles to human nature. He arranges men into the one, the few and the many, and bestows on the one and the few, more power than he gives to the many, to eounter-f balance numerical or physical strength; our constitutions divide power with a view to the responsibility of the agent, and jealous of the danger of accumulating great power in the hands of one or a few, because all history proves that this species of condensation begets tyranny, bestow most power on their most numerous functionary.

Mr. Godwin, in his "Political Justice," v. 2. p. 180, asserts that *< scarcely any plausible argument can be adduced in favour of what has been denominated by political writers a division of power." This authoritative decision seems to have been made, Avithout any consideration of the ground upon which a division of power is justified in this essay. Mr. Adams confines a division of power, to a division of orders of men j Mr. Godwin extends it to a division of orders of power, such as legislative, executive and judicative; but this essay, considering a classification of power into orders, as little less erroneoise than a classification of men, extends the idea of its division to the counteraction of monopoly in any form, by a man, an order or a government, in a degree sutHcient to excite ambition, avarice or despotism. This idea of a division of power is consonant to the policy of the United States, as is evinced by the responsibility oTthe exe- cutive, the allotments of power to the state and the general governments, and the reservations from the powers of both, retained by the people; and is distinct from the ideas bAth of Mr. Adams and Mr. Godwin. The latter gentleman's opinions in favour of a division of property, and against a division of power, are inconsistent, if a monopoly of either, will beget a monopoly of both; if wealth attracts power, and power wealth. The same principles dictate a distribution of both; and the same effects flow from an accumulation of either. A law of primogeniture in respect to power, is similar to a law of priraogeiiitare in respect to property. The objection to both is comprised in their enmity to the principle of division. This subject Tvill occur ivgain in a subsequent part of this essay. Let us pause, and take a glance at the title of Mr. Adams's treatise. Why was it called " a defence of the constitutions of goYcrnment of the United States of Ameri- ca?'* It assails the principle, upon which these constitutions are founded; it asserts doctrines which they condeain; and it justifies a system of government which would be a reyo- lution of tliem all. If this unsuitable title, arose from an incapacity to distinguish between the principles of our poli- <syi and those of a system of balanced orders, the en'our is pardonable, and only destroys the authority of the treatise j but if it was an artifice, to mask under a pi'ctemled aifectiou for our pinnciples of government, an attack upon them, the erudition of the treatise Mill not be able to conceal, nor the freedom of political disquisition to justify, the insincerity of such an intention. To prove the correctness of this criticism, it is necessa- ry to return niore particularly to Mr. Adains's treatise, for the purpose of elucidating its di-ift bt^vond the possibility of misapprdiension. Thus also we shall advance in a know- ledge of the policy of the Unite<l States, and of that of En gland; which are im]>oi'tant objects of this essay. The pretext for Mr. Adams's treatise, appears in the first page of the first volume, in the following extract of a letter from Mr. Turgot, to Doctor Pidce: " that be is ['not •< satisfied with the constitutions which have hitherto been " formed for the different States of America. That by " most of them the customs of England are imitafed, with- " out any particular motive. Instead of collecting all au-

  • ' thority into one centre, that of the nniion, they have es-

" tablished different bodies, a body of representatives, a « council, and a governour, because there is in England a " house of commons, a house of lords, and a king. They •• endeavour to balance these different powers, as if this equilibrium, which in England may be a necessary check ," to the enormous influence of royalty, could be oi' any use

  • < in republicks founded upon the equality of all the citi-

« zens, and as if establishing different orders of men was " not a source of divisions and disputes."

Against this charge, Mr. Adams exhibits a defence for the constitutions in a mode entirely new. He labours to prove that every word of it is true, and that the balance of power, and orders of men, spoken of by Mr. Turgot, liave been borrowed by us from England, and do in fact constitute the only good form of government.

The task of proving the charge untrue, would have been much easier. I will concisely endeavour to do so, before I proceed in the examination of the use Mr. Adams has made of it.

A celebrated author has pronounced in a tone of great authority, that '< government is in all cases an evil."* This assertion, and Mr. Turgot's misconception, are founded in the same errour ^ that of contemplating monarchy, aristo- cracy and democracy, as an analysis comprising every form of government. These being all founded in evil moral principles, would produce evil effects, and Mr. Godwin be- Iiolding this fact, pronounces " that government is in all ca^ ses an evil," because he had not conceived any other elements of governments, except those of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy; and these producing much evil, his remedy is to destroy government itself. But had he considered, that government could not be an evil, if it was founded in principles which would excite the good moral qualities of human nature, he would have searched for some such form, capable of excluding monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, all of which produce evil, because of their tendency to excite man's evil qualities.

The same analysis led Mr. Turgot into a misconception of the principles of our policy. Supposing us to be tied Aovfn to a form compounded of the whole aiaalysis, or of

  • Gnrfwln cm Pol. Jus .• v. 2, 314

one or two members of it, and preferring democracy to h mixed government, he concluded that our governments were compounded of the whole analysis, because he could not dis- cern the object of his preference ; and in not being able to discern democracy among our state constitutions, Mr. Tur- got justifies the idea, which supposes that the evil " democracy" is as capable of remedy, as the evils *' monarclsy and aristocracy," and that it is actually removed by our system of government.

Mr. Turgot, not seeing the object of his preference, has- tily concluded our policy to have copied the English ; and founds his conclusion in an opinion, that it makes state go- vernours kings, balances powers, and establishes orders of men. All this is obviously erroneous. We have less of monarchy and aristocracy in our policy, both of v. Inch he pretends to see, than of democracy, which he could not see. ^ Instead of balancing power, we divide it and make it respon- sible, to prevent the evils of its accumulation in the hands of one interest. And such is the force of this principle of di- viding power, to excite the good, and suppress the evil qua- lities of man, that among several hundred state governours who have already existed, not one instance has appeared of kingly qualities, of usurpation, or of war between neigh- bouring states. Why have the state governments escaped the evils of monarchy ? For the same reason that they have escaped those of aristocracy and democracy. This exam- ple of the good moral conduct of their governours, testificB to the correctness of our analysis. Instead of monarcliy, which excites evil qualities, our division (not a balance) of power, renders it responsible, and brings good qualities out of governours ; and instead of a tumultuary nation, election, by division also, is filtered of its worst vice, and brings good qualities out of the mass of the people. AVhereas a balance af power or a balance of orders (for it will amount to the same thing) has constantly produced a spirit as bitter as the animosity between rival clans, and caused distraction and misery, until the latter becomes permanent in a despotism. begotten by the predominance of one order or of one power.

Mr. Turgot's errour in supposing our constitutions to have been formed by the English model, and his condemna- tion of such an imitation, aftbrded an opportunity precisely fitted for Mr. Adams's purpose. He assumes our defence against the condemnation, and assails Mr. Turgot's prefe» renee for collecting all authorit}' into one centre. In justifying us against Turgot's condemnation for having copied the English system, it was incumbent on Mr. Adams to prove that sjsteni to be the most perfect model of civil policy; in endeavouring to effect this, he was enabled to make some use of our prepossessions, by scattering in his first volume a few compliments to our constitutions; these however are bestowed upon them as copies, but like copies, they are presently forgotten in the admiration excited by the original.

Turgot condemns a balance of power, and different or- ders of men, and approves of collecting all authority into one centre, the nation. IMr. Adams tacitly admits our con- stitutions to be artificers of this balance and these orders, converts Turgot's centre into a single chamber of represcn tatjves, engages these phantoms in hostility, and astoun<1^ us with history, anecdote, poetry and fable, to prove — what? That Mr. Turgot was mistaken in supposing that these were political orders created by our constitutions? No. To prove that such orders naturally existed, and that no good government could be formed, except by balancing power among such orders.

Whether Mr. Turgot approves or not, of concentrating all power in a single house of representatives, is immaterial; except that Mr. Adams, by supposing him to do so, has very artificially interwoven, an assault upon that idea, a vindication of a mixed or limited monarchy, and a few slight compliments to our constitutions. He uses the constitutions as a weak ally in carrying on the war against Turgot's centre of power, places the system of limited monarchy in the van of the battle, and gives it all the credit of conscious ^ ieto ry. Turgot's idea of •« collecting all authority into one cen* Ire," " that of the nation," might possibly have extended to national sovereignty only, without condemning a distribution of powe" among publick functionaries by a moderate scale; but Mr. Adams, by making that centre to consist of one house of representatives, seized upon the ^.trongest ground for exhibiting representative government in distortion. To render monai'chy most hateful, all power ought to be exhi- bited in the hands of a single man; so to render representa- tion hatefid, the best exidbition, is all power in the hands of a single house. We caricature what we wish to make odious, and adorn what we wish to recommend. Thus Mr. Adams contrasts republicanism in its most hideous, with monarehvj in its most becoming dress. One he adorns with his cheeks and balances, his jealousy among orders, aad his paiiician virtues; and tells no tale of woe produced i»y its vit-es: the other he places in a centre of monopoly, from w uencc she is made to hurl legislative, executive and juditial destiuction on friends and enemies. It is admitted that the oijject of his embellishment, might possibly be some relief against the monster disfigured for its foil. / But the question so important to America, is not to be thus eluded. Because Mi*. Turgot has charged us with ha- ving established governments, bottomed upon the English system of balancing classes of power, and creating orders of men; and because Mr. Adams has defended our govern- ments against this charge, not by denying it, but by endea- vouring to prove that system to be the best: it does not fol- low that o?jr political policy is really that of the Enfrlish. It only results from the charge a-nd defence, that Mr. Tur- got condemiK'd and l^Ir. Adams approved of the English policy. And althcugli Mr. Adams has been pleased to en- gage that policy in hostilities with Turgot*s phantasm, of concentrating all power in one chamber of representatives, (if such an opinion!>« Justly ascribed to m^ a victojy on either side can furnish no eonchision or inference applicable to the civil policy of the United States. That consists nei- ther of Mr. Adams's orders and halanee, nor of Turgut's chamber. It stands aloof, and like a giant looks dowii without interest on tliis pigmy war. Shall one of the pig- mies, because he has beaten the otlier. be considered as hav- ing also obtained a victory over the giant ?

The question is not to be eluded. Whether Mr. Tnr- got's chamber, or 3Ir. Adams's orders and balances, consJl- tute the best form of government, is not a question with which the Unite<l States have any concern : and that is t ^ question discussed by Mr. Adams. If he has gained a vic- tory over Turgot, it is not a victory also over the policy ol" the United States, unless that policy is Turgot's, though disclaimed by him ; nor is our policy entitled to any share of his laurels, unlessit is, as Turgot asserted, the English policy.

However disguised, the true question is discernible. It simply is, whether the existing form of government of the United Slates, or the English limited monarchy is pre- ferable. It is in this question that we are interested. This question has not been discussed by Mr. Adams, in mauling Turgot's chamber Mith his balances. But we ought to ac- quire a thoron^^h knowledge of the Englisli system and its principles, and of our own system and its principles, to disco- ver wherein they differ, and to bestow with justice the contes- ted preference. Much of our labour has already been appro- priated towards this important object; more is yet neces- sary. At present we will proceed in our endeavours to ascertain with preciseness the opinion of the author upon whose work we are commenting.

Mr« Adams's second volume commences with the following motto : ** As for us Englishmen, thank heaven we have a better sense of government delivered to us from our ancestors. We have the notion of a publick, and a constution j how a legislature, and hoAv an executive is mould- « edj we understand Avcight and measure in this kind, and " can reason justly on the balance of power and property,

  • • The maocimswe draw from hence, are as cxident as thost
  • ' of mathematicks. Our increasing knowledge, shows every

<•' day what common sense is in politicks."[3]

In a motto, an author condenses his opinion and his suh- ject, to the utmost of his power. This combines a strong idea of the English system, with a stronger approbation of it. No preference can be stronger than one founded in mathematical evidence; and no room remains for farther political discovery, after mathematical demonstration. If the English system possesses this degree of perfection, it excels ours by the confession of our constitutions, in provisions for their own improvement.

Shaftsbury wrote this sentence, about a century past, when the system of paper and patronage was neither under- stood nor felt in England, and when a portion of the landed wealth of the nobility remained, sufficient to bestow some importance upon that order. What does he say produced these mathematical political maxims of the English sys- tem? *< A balance of power and property:" power and pro- perty are the indissoluble companions by which the system was regulated. If property and nobility becanje divided, wcmld power and nobility continue imited? Neither the ac- tual nor comparative wealth of the English nobility is now Avhat it was a century past. Paper systems, patronage and commerce, have overturned the balance which furnished Shaftsbury's mathematical political maxims. And as accor- ding to these maxims, power with mathematical certainty wCl follow property, so the existence of the aristocracy of paper and patronage, contended for by this essay, is esta- blished upon Lord Shaftsbury's principles, and by 3Ir. Adams's motto.

When Lord Shaftsbury wrote, the balance of property in England was created on the part of the king, by the domains annexed to his office, by certain pecuniary acquisitions

  • In the edition of 1757, the words are " us Britons." — Extracted from, Shaftebury's Charact. v. 1, part 3d, sec. 1. p. 83.

derived from prerogative, by some patrofnage, and by an antiuity for life ; and on the part of the nobility, by the extent and value of their manors. Now, the last weight, is no longer in the scale ; and the first, has beconic ponderous. Is the balance between these two orders, even without tak- ing into the account the new weight created by paper and patronage, what it was a century past ? If not, will different weights, a new or a broken balance, supply Mr. Adams with the same mathematical maximsof government, which Shaftsbury, mathematically also, extracted from a differ- ent balance ?

Both these authors unequivocally aiSirm the necessity of a balance of property, whereon to establish the balance of power constituting the English system. Let us apply this awful acknowledgement to the situation of the United States, without suffering political prejudice to suspend our judgments. , Does this balance of property, indispensable to the British and Mr. Adams's system, in the opinion of Shaftsbury and Mr. Adams, exist here ? If not, with what propriety has Mr. Adams contended that his system, was the system of the United States ? Of his, this balance of property is the essence ; of theirs, it forms no part.

The admitted necessity of a balance of property, for the existence of Mr. Adams's system, unfolds visibly to every politician, however superficial, that his system cannot exist without it; and the mode of introducing a balance of property here, is then to be considered.

By two ways only, has it ever been effected in England. First, by royal domains and feudal baronies. Secondly, by a million annuity, executive patronage, and the paper system. To effect this balance of property here in the first mode, it would be necessary to strip a sufficient number of landholders of their property, for the purpose of creating a landed king, and a landed aristocracy : but as this mode of making a balance of property among orders, would be too direct to be safe, the observation only furnishes a conclusive proof, that a landed aristocracy can never be created in the United States, as a member of Mr. Adams's system.

The other mode of coming at this balance, is to transfer property to the system of paper and patronage. And this being the only practicable mode, those who calculate that the system of balau-ring power and property, will be- stow on them an unequal share of both, will use it as the only means of advar.cing that system. This would create a monopoly of property, not by taking the lands from the owners directly, but by taking their profits indirectly, with charters of profit, stock and patronage. By this mode, the president must be endowed with the patronage and the an- nual million of the king of England, to bestow on him the wealth necessary to form one order, and a monied aristo- ci*acy must be raised by such pretexts as may occur, to cre- ate another.

The motto therefore proposes two questions for the reader's consideration. One, whether this English system of balancing power and property, as existing when Shaftsbury wrote, or at this time, is the system of the United States: the other, whether it would be wise or just in the United Stales, to exchange their system for it.

To determine the first question, the fact will suffice. THat, as stated by Lord Shaftsbury, and contended for by Mr. Adams, simply is, that an allotment of property and power is necessary among the one, the few and the many, to sustain or create, the English or Mr. Adams's system of government. And it is explicitly declared, that this allotment must amount to a balance or an equality. Hence, it is obvious, that the orders consisting of the one and the few, must each be endowed with a portion of power and proper ly equal to that bestowed on the order consisting of the many. Therefore the system can neither subsist or be introduced without a vast accumulation of power and property in the individvsal and the minor order. Such is the fact on ojie side. On the other, it is a fact equally undeniable, that it is the policy of the United States to divide, and not to accumulate power and property. It follows that the system of balancing power and property in the hands of orders, is not the system of the United States.

To determine the second question, the argument of this essay must be estimated. Here it is only necessary to re- mark, that the wisdom of an exchange of our system for Mr. Adams's, will often be aiRrmed or denied by the dic- tates of self interest. Requiring as it does, that two thirds of the power and property of the nation, should be transfer- ed to the one, and the few, it is probable that those who expect a share of this acquisition, so wonderfully adapted to solicit the exertions of ajubition and avarice, will attempt to persuade us, that the exchange Avould be wise; on the con- trary', as the order of the many, must furnish neai'ly the whole of the power and property necessary to bring !!»; the »two other orders to a balance with itself, it is as probable, that no individual, who understands the subject, and believe:* that he will be a member of the order to be despoiled, will approve of the exchange. He will fiee, that to nrake orders equal in power and property, is to make individuals une- qual ; and that it would be simply a case of dividing twelve millions of children belonging to one man, into three or- ders, of one, of about one hundred ar.'c iifty, and of eleven millions nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, eight hun- dred and forty nine ; and of bestowing one third of the inhe- ritance upon each order. It is very conceivable that h% individuals who composed the two first orders, might be very well pleased with the system of such a balance of power and property, and that those belonging to the third, would have no great cause to rejoice. Nor would a child of the multitude, be easily convinced of the justice and wisdom of the system of balancing power and property, by a difference in the mode of effecting it ; whether this was done by the force of the feudal system, or the fraud of paper and patronage, would make no difference in the consequences to him. He would therefore prefer the inequalities r rod need by talents and industry, to the system of levelling orders. We will now proceed with our quotations, to exhibit a few of the amplifications of this motto to be found through- out Mr. Adams's second and third volumes, his unqualified approbation of its doctrine, and his unsuccessful efforts to compress the policy of the United States within its tenour.

" When it is found in experience, and appears probable " in tlieory, that so simple an invention as a separate exe- " cutive, with power to defend itself, as a full remedy « a^-ainst the fatal effects of dissentions between nobles and

  • < commons, why should we still finally hope that simple

'♦ governments, or mixtures of two ingredients only, will «' produce effects which they never did, and we know never «* can ? Why sliould the people be still deceived with insi- <* nuations, that these evils arose from the destiny of a par- « ticular city, when we know that destiny common to all " mankind ?"*[4]

It is obvious that Mr. Adams is here contemplating mo- narchy, aristocracy and democracy, and not moral princi- ples, as the only ingredients of government ; and that in his division of power, he thinks it necessary to assign to the ex- ecutive order (which he in other places limits to a single person) a quota, suffieient to enable him to defend himself against the plebeian order. In the United States, the exe- cutive power is dependent on the people. The quota of power cannot by his system be given, without a correspondent balance of wealth. The wealth then of Mr. Adams's executive order, must also balance the wealth of the plebeian order.

The assertion, that neither one nor two of these ingredients, can produce effects correspondent to our hopes, though exactly as true, as that a mixture of all three will equally disappoint us, positively affirms the necessity of this mixture; and when coupled with the deception into which such hopes have seduced the people, acknowledges, both that the policy of the United States did not embrace this mixture,

""♦"Adams's Def. v. 2. p. 53 The thirO. Philadelphia edition tn quoted thro'.ighout th is essav and that it was an experiment unpromising in theory, and forbidden by experience. The treatise is addressed to the people of the United States; no other people who could eouie to a knowledge of it, entertained an enmity in 17 S6, against kings and nobles; the deprecated deception and the political errour, alleged in the extract, to exist, must there- fore exclusively refer to the public!; opinion of the people of the United States, and to the texture of their governmentg. And thus are justified by the admission of Mr. Adams, the opinions asserted in this essay; that our policy is not the English; und that Mr. Adams, instead of defending it, as he proposed, has, under colour of refuting Turgot's project of a single centre of power, laboured to establish its inferiori- ty to the English system. •• Here was the best "possible opportunity for introducing

  • ' the most perfect farm, by giving the executive power to

"one of the Medici, the power of the purse to the people,

    • and the legislative power to both, together with the nohi-

The best possible oppoMiinity in this extract spoken of, was a conjuncture in the history of Florence, at which the people expelled an usurper or a monarch of the Mediccau family, and attempted to establish a popular gcvernmente That conjuncture was analogous to yur expulsion of a mo- naroh of the GuelpJi family. The Florentine conjusictmo, says Mr. Adams, afforded the best possible opportunity for introducing the most perfect form of government, namely that of king, lords and coainions. And the king was to be taken from the usurping and expelled family. Tiic lust extract consisted of a positive declaration, that limited moiarchy was the most perfect form of government, and a positive opinion as to the best conjuncture for intro- ducing it. The following is of a similar character. ' «* The sovereign or rather the first magistrate of this

  • ' monarohical republick, is the king of Prussia. Without

"' descending to a particular account, of this princely repub- • AdaiEs's Dcf. v. 2. 163. li "lick, let me refer you to the DictioRaiie dela Martitti(?re, " arid to Fabet", printed at the tnd of the sixth vdliinie! of iti

  • ^ and to Goxe's sketches, and to conclude vith hihtirvj^ at a

« few ftatures of this excellent conhtitulion. None but na- <f tivcs are >eapHble of hohlinji; 'Any olSce, civil or niiliiary, « excepting thAt of govei*n«iir. Tlie three estates sliilll be « «;Ssf mbk'd every year. Tiie maj^istrates and officers of "justice shall hold their employments du!ing good beha- « viour ; nor is the king the judge of ill behaviour. The " king at his accession takes an oafh to maintain all rights, « liberties, franchises, and customs, written or unwi itttii.

  • « The king is oonsidered as resident only at Neuchatlel,

«« and therefore Avhen absent can only address the citizens

  • • through his governour and the council of state. Ko citi*

" inn can be tried out of the ceuntry or otherwise than by " the judges* The prince aonfei'S nohiWy, and nominates " to the principal offices of slate, civil and military. Tits " Prince in his absence is represented by a governor of his " own appGiming. He convokes the Ihree estates."*[5]

It is not intended to insult the reader by pointing out the several eulogies upon monarchy and orders in this extract, nor is it haidly necessary to draw his attention to a repetition of an idea similar to that furnished by the preceding. In that, the reward of an usurping family, by placing one of it on a throne, would, it was said, have been good policy; and that the eia of its expulsion, was the best possible opportunity for this experiment. In this, a government of orders, in which the king is absent, is said to be an «* excellent constitution." Added to the absence of tlK! king, the exclusion from office of all except natives, three estates assembled annually, a coronation oath, a fiction to acquire the presence of the king, trial within the country, a right in the Prince to confer nobility and appoint officers, and a locum tenens king called governor, comprise every feature of the Neucllatt<?l constitution, urged to fonvince iis of it excellence.

  • A.lsms's Defence v. C. 416 S' 448

I remember to have seen a book nearly cootcmparary witli Mr. Adams's deCunee, written by a Su* John Dalrymple, an Englisbnian, containing a proposition for a reimiou between Knglantl and the United States, upon terms neaaly eunilar to the constitution of NeiwhatteJ, cekbrtited by Mr. Adauis. And had these two gentlemen been appoisUed plenipotentiaries to treat of this proposal, Hie only point for discussion uhieh seems to have been left unsettled by tl^? extract and Dalrymple's book, would have been, whether Neuchattcl, in Switzerland, as divi^led from Prussia by Jand, was more c9mm«!dious>ly situated for a Prussian, thftii the United States, for an English king.

As to the preferable form of government, no disagreement could have happened between the negotiators, unless the following quotations are really eulogies upgtB our own policy.

" But there is a form of government which produces a '< love of law, liberty and country, instead of disorder, irre- " gularity and a faction ,: which produces as much and more

  • ' imlependence of spirit, and as much undaunted bravery:

" as much esteem of merit in preference to wealth, and as »•' gi'cat simplicity, sincerity and generosity to all the community, as others do to a faction; Avhich produces as great «< a desire of knowledge, and infinitely better faculties to "pursue it; which besides produces security of property ,

  • < and the desire and opportunities for commerce, which the

" others obstruct. Shall any ane Jwsitate ilMii to prefer « such a govcrmmnt to all others? A constitution in which << the people reserve to themselves the iiJbsolute control of

  • f their purseSf one esstJitial branch of the legislaturef and

« the imiuest of grievances and state crimes, will always " produce patriotism, bravery, simplicity and science ', and « that infi.iitely better for the order, security, and tranquil- " lity they will enjoy, by putting the executive power in one «?»a>irf, which it becomes their interest, as well as that of «< the nobles, to watch and control.^'*

  • Adams's Def. v. 2. 387 & 388,

This quotation contains the precise opinion, which it is the design of this essay to controvert. Dismissing Turgot's phantom of a single house of representatives, Mr. Adams considers the people as an order, electing only one branch of the legislature, having no control over a single executive, and aided by nobles to watch and control this monarch ; for when the people have made a king to cheek nobles, these nobles are to join the people in clireking the king. And the approbation of such a form of government is as nnbounded, as the censure of every other is unequivocal. That, he asserts, will produce a long string of blessings j others, specified calamities of great magnitude. Not a sin- gle defect is ascribed to the object of the eulogy, nor a single perfection to any other form. The words cannot be tortured to bring our policy within the sphere of the eulogy, nor to exclude it from that of the censure. And the English system is unequivocally preferred without hesitation to all others.

A single remark only will be made upon this encomium. The system of orders is said to produce security of proper- ty. But the system requires that property must be balanced among the three orders, or no balance of power can remain. « Wealth," says Mr. Adams, «« is the machine for governing the world." How can this balance of pioperty be introduced or maintained, without invading property, for the indispensable purpose of enriching a king and some other interest, to make two orders ? It must be invaded by force or fraud. The frauds of superstition first collected the wealth, which created and fed an aristocratical interest ; then it was acquired by the force of the feudal system ; and now it is drawn from the people by the frauds of paper and patronage. Can any one hesitate to prefer the security of property under the system of the United States, to such security as this ?

"A science certainly comprehends all the principles in nature which belong to the subject. I'hc principles in «* nature which relate to government cannot all be known. " without a knowledge of the history of mankind. The « English constitution is the only one which has considered " and provided for all cases that are known to have gene-

    • ralhii indeed to have always happened in the progress of
    • every nation; it is therefore the only scientijical govern-

" ment."* " Whenever the people have had any share in the exe-

    • cutive, or more than one third part of the legislative,

« they liave always abused it, and rendered property inse- " cure."! " But a mixed government produces and necessitates " constancy in all its parts j the king must be constant to " preserve his prerogatives; the senate must be constant to " preserve their share j and the house theirs.":^: <* It is therefore the true policy of the common people <« to place the whole executive power in one man, to make <* him a distinct oj^der in the state, from whence arises an <' inevitable jValoJts?/ l)ctween him and the gentlemen."^ Mr. Adams's third volume I) contains a reference to the parties under our present general government, by the terms " constitutionalist and republican;" and in the same vo- lume^ it is said, " that Lewis the 16th had the unrivalled glory of admitting the people to a share in the government;'* an observation for which no ground existed, previously to the establishment of the present general constitution. This volume must therefore have been written or revised after the existence of that constitution; of course, that instru- ment is entitled to share with the constitutions proposed by the title page to be defended, in the censures of those seve- ral quotations. One of these is an adjudication assigning literally to tiie « English constitution" the utmost conceivable political perfection; and to every other, a specified comparative inferiority, Avith a considerable portion of actual worthless- ness. " The English constitution is the only one which has

  • Adams's def. v. 3. 368. + Adams's def. v. 3, 453. || p. 187.

i do. V. 3. 391. § do. v. 3. 460. U p. 426. " considered and provided for all cases known to have " always happened in the progress of every nation." Com- parative prefei*ence could not have been more strongly ex- pressed. '• It is the only seientifical government." A stronger expression of contempt for other forms of govern- ment could not have been used by a philosopher.

The confinement of the people to an influence «ver a third part of the legislature, the monai'chieal executive, and the hulependent senate, having the prerogatives of an order, are vital principles of the English system, and ap- plauded; and that applause is an express xiensure of those vital principles of our policy, which extend the influence of the people far beyond the English limit, erect responsible executives short of monarchical poweivaml exclude the icjea of prerogatived senatoi'ial orders.

The meaning x>f the terra « mixed,^' frequently u§ed in Mr. Adams's treatise, is defined by the tliird quotation so precisely, that the loosest iinagin ttion will be unable to mis- construe the author as intending by that expression to include the policy of the United States. He limits it to a mixture of ranks or orders, made up of king, lords and commons. A division of powers w it'iout an establishment of orders, is not then an object of Mr. Adams's contemplation, when he uses this term.

Jealousy is often mentioned by Mr. Adams as the best effect of his system of balancing orders. In the last quota- tion, the jealously of tbe eo.union people against gentlemen, is used as a motive to propel tliem towards a king, for the purpose of acqn'risig (his cardinal effect of the balatices: aamely, jealousy between the king and the gentlemen.

It has been stated, that a mixture of orders belonged to the class of governments founded in the evil qualities of man; and it is repeatedly asserted by Mr. Adams, that its fruit is jealousy. This is a tender term to convey an idea of the distrust, hatred and implacability, which have ever guided orders, possessed of the share of power and wealth required by Mr. Adams's system. The calamities he details. at'^ OoHeetetJ from experiments of mixed orders, and iiisirlal the consequences of the evil quality of jealousy, and the prospect of its IJeeoming the fountain of good. This jea-^ lousy is graduated by the approach towards the object, on the attainment of which thje perfection of Mr. Adau'.s's sys- tem depends; aYid the exact adjustment of a balance of power and Wealth l)etVeen political orders, begets tlic ut- most degree of its malignity; it becomes deadly, like that between tWo pretenders to the throne. It produces effects, like those pi'oduced in England, by a balanc^e of wealth and power between the crown and the nobility. As equality in wealth and power, or a perfect political balance, is the ui- niftnt excitement of jealousy, so it is stifled by subordination; and the farther a form of government i*ecedes from Mi Adams's point of perfection, the less it is exposed to the discord of a rivalry for dominion, xls the violent struggles between the crown and nobles in England, demonstrate the consequences of an attainment of Mr. Adams's political balance j so Ihcir long intermission demonstrates the con- sequences of a pecessioH from his point of perfection. It is sinq^ly the question whether two or three kings arc better than one, on accou5jt of the jealousy with which the one case will be blessed, and its absence from the second. Tire poli- cy of the United States, by acknowledging the sOvereignty of the pcojde without a balance or a rival power, and by establishing a subordination to their opinion, has rejected the quality of jealortsy, contended for by its dcfende?

Mr. Adams's book abounds with the evils inflicted on mankind by the contention of orders, but it omits to display the evils of their union in England; it opposes to its own facts a theory for their management, but omits to add that it has never succeeded; and it allows to nations ai capacity for instituting and keeping in repair, an intricate equilibrium of power and wealth among orders, but denies that they are capable of self government.

The quotations demonstrate the enmity between the policy of the United States, and Mr. Adams's system; and a view ujf the general stfiicture of his treatise, will establish its strict coneurrence with the tenor of the quotations. Re- pwblicks, or j^overtinients without a monarch, are represent- ed as detestable ; and the more popular they are, the more detestable are they represented. Our policy is slightly mentioned in the first voluiue, thrown into the back ground throughout the second, and spoken of in the third as an ex- perinieiit unlikely to succeed. As Turgot's project of a single body of men exercising all power, is made the pre- text for a collateral attack upon our policy in the first vo- lume, Nedham's <• Excellency of a free state, or the right constitution of acommonwealtli," is resorted to for opening a direct attack upon it in the third. Turgfft was unfriendly to orders, and Nedham wrote to keep out a dethroned king ,' Mr. Adams assails them both.

Marchamont Nedham wrote about one hundred and fifty vears past. Political science at that time depended upon luicient experiments, and the disciples of democracY, aris- tocracy or monarchy, would of course be now exposed to many just criticisms, furnished by the defects of each furm, as then understood and practised. But Nedham's treatise, and the American revolution, united in assailing the same limited monarchy, in the destruction of which, one failed and the other succeeded ; and Mr. Adams selects the un- successful combatant against the same foe, takes the side of the victorious enemy, and fights the battle over again. Li- mited monarchy is made to insult over Nedham's common- wealth, after having subdued it; and the commonwealth of the United States, is not allowed to take the field against limited monarchy which that has subdued. Monarchy shrinks from an avowed controversy with an erect enemy, and is by Mr. Adams decreed a new triumph over a fallen one. However it may accord with the rules of war, to un- dermine the main fortress by getting possession of a weak outwork, it is questionftble whether this military mode of reasoaing, will be considered as the right road to triith. The policy of the United States ought not to be forced into an alliance with either Tiirgot's or Nedham's project. It is itself the Champion, ready to engage the English sys- tem, fairly and openly, hand to hand ; nor ought the ghosts of these speculations, the one forgotten and the other un- known, to have been conjured up, for the purpose of trans- fixing that policy, under pretence of striking at shadows, and claiming for monarchy a victory whilst it flees from the contest. The war is carried on with shadows ; and by the help of definition, an attempt is made even to transfer the arms of these shadows to their adversary. If this can be effect- ed, the chief weapon, the distinguishing superiority of our policy, is also lost. Let us return to Mr. Adams. " In the science of legislation, there is a confusion of -* languages, as if men were but lately come from Babel. « Scarcely any two writers, much less nations, agree in « using words in the same sense. Such a latitude, it is " true, allows a scope for politicians to speculate, like mer- «, chants with false weights, by making the same Avord « adored by one party and execrated by another.'** Two extracts will be selected, to show how far Mr. Adams has fulfilled the confidence which this ju^it observa- tion is calculated <o inspire ; one, containing a definition of a republiek, the other of representation. Definition is in- deed a false or a true Aveight. It discloses truth, or hides errour. It is a criminal, varnishing over law, to conceal his crime; or an unprejudiced judge, seeking for a true construction. It is a torture of words to suit a system, and deceive the superficial ; or a mode of removing the mistakes arising from words, and extending our ideas to things. And it is as likely to complain of the unintelligible jargon pro- duced by a want of precision in terms, when it purposes to deceive by this jargon, as a Jew is to complain of false weights, when he offers his sweated coin. ■ * Adams's def. v. 3, 157 158. « Others again, !nore rationally, define a republiek to ^' signify only a government, in v/liich all men, rich and « poor, magistrates and subjects, officers and people, mas- '•' ters and servants, the first citizen and the last, are equally « subject to the lazes. This indeed appears to he the true, " and onhi true definition of a republiek.*** " An uncertainty of law" is a " glorious" object to ava- ricious lawyers. " An uncertainty of republicanism," Vould be an object, not less desirable to ambitious politicians. A definition, which produces uncertainty as to what republi- canism is, will excite and aid the views of ambition, just as an uncertainty of law excites ami aids the views of ava- rice. It is therefore highly important to consider this de- iiuition of Mr. Adams. The analysis contended for in this essay, divides govern- ments irtto two classes, distinguished by the moral elements, good and evil. And the terms "republiek and common- wealth," have l>een used to convey an idea of a government, which, being founded in good moral principles, or princi- ples both exciting good and restraining evil qualities, will produce puhlick, common, or national benefit. But if " the subjection of all to law" constitutes a republiek, this idea of the term must be surrendered, and we must look out for some other, by which to make the reader comprehend the idea, of a form of government founded in good moral prin- ciples, and producing publick, common or national benefit. A code of laws may be good or bad ; and if bad, it h morally impossible that a subjection to such a code, can constitute a government founded in good moral principles. But according to IMr. Adams, equal subjection to any code of laws, constitutes a definition of a republiek ; if so, it fol- lows, that this term gives us no idea of the principles or operation, of any government; and is equally pertinent to describe those calculated to dispense evil to the publick. as those calculated to dispense good. ' AdPins'.-; def. v Tn 159 Law may be enacted by ^ faction, to strip a nation, and onrich itself j and the faction may find an intei-est in sub- jecting to laAV, the individuals composing itself, equally with other citizens. The Doge and nobility of Venice, the East-India company and stock faction of England, are evi- dences of this asseilion. A code of laws inay operate partially, in such modes, as the establishment of privileged orders or hiej-arehies; or by frittering away publick rights by law charters, to indi- viduals or corporations, so as to reduce the majoiity of the uation to misery and wretchedness. Yet the bishop would be subject to law in receiving his benefice and his tythes, the labourer, in paying them; a nobility is subject to law in exercising its privileges; a corporation, in growing rich by the aid of its charter ,* a bank, in collecting from a na- tion, usury upon nominal money; and a king, in receiving a million, and expending thirty millions annually in corrup- tion and patronage, at the national expense. Here are kings, bishops, nobility and corporations, all subject to law; but the laws are partial, unjust and oppressive. There is no difficulty in framing laws, so as to oppress one portion of a community for the benefit of another; and yet exevy citizen may be subject to the laws, whilst the sub- jection of some will consist of acquisition or benefit, and of others, of loss or injury; and thus property to a vast amount may be annually transferred. Some may be combined in a priesthood, to aid a government in oppressing others; pri- vileges may be conferred on some, to the injury and degra- dation of others; some may by law be excused from pub- lick duties, so as to increase them upon others, as in the exemption of the nobility and clergy under the French mo- narchy from certain taxes; and some may by laws be ena- bled even to corrupt the government at the cost and charges of the people, as the paper and the executive orders of jBngland. In all these cases, and in a multitude of others which will occur to the reader, an equal subjection to the law. constitutes the only true and »2nuine republiek, according to Mr. Adanis ; a definition equivalent to an assertion, that it is not the justice or partiality, the moderation or oppres- siveness of laws, which furnish an idea of liberty or slavery, of a republiek or a tyranny, but merely the execution of law, bad or jrood, just or unjust.

According to this definition, all forms of government, which produce a particular eifect of government, that is, " an equal subjection to the laws," instantly become repub- iieks, how widely soever they may differ in structure or principles ; and the same form, may sometimes be a repub- liek, and sometimes not, as fluctuations in the equal execu- tion of law are produced, by the passions of individuals, or the arts of factions, without any change in the structure of the government. So soon as it is settled, that effects are to alter the names of causes, without altering their nature or form, the term ** republiek" can no longer convey an idea of a government, unless it is in operation ; because, as the title of every form to that epithet, would depend upon ils effect in producing "an equal subjection to law," so until this effect appears in the operation of a government, it could never be known, whether it was a republiek, an aristocracy or a monarchy. Politicians, to the inquiry *' what kind of government are you erecting ?" must answer like the paint- er spoken of by Cervantes, who being asked what he was painting, replied ? " a cock or a fox, just as it happens."

A partial execution of law by one party or faction iipon another, would produce an unequal subjection to law, which must be detected and destroyed, to bring back such an erring government within the terms of the definition. It deprives us of the vernacular idea annexed to the phrases

  • ' republiek and monarchy," and for the question " is this a

republiek or a monarchy?" substitutes an inquiry, *« whether all the citizens are equally subject to the laws ?"

Without having seen the definition, an Englishman being asked, under what form of government he lived, would have answered, ** a monarchy j" and to the same question.

  • an American would have answered *« a repiiblick.'^ But

this new dialect may make such answers improper. In England, the government party say " the laws govern,'* According to the definition, these monarchists must allow that their government is republican, and themselves repuh- licans ; in meriea, the party which called itself republican, believed tliat the sedition law was partially executed, so as to produce an unequal subjection to law ; by the definition, this party must then have denied that our form of govern- ment was republican, whilst they were avowing an affection for it because it was so. We cannot therefore discern, how this definition is calculated to diminish the confusion of po- litical dialect, or to establish an accurate idea of the term " republick," capable of becoming a fixed standard against the fraudulent use of it by ambition and deceit. Let us examine if more certainty and perspicuity is displayed in the following quotation.

"An hereditary limited monarch is the representative of the whole nation, for the management of the executive power, as much as an house of representatives, as one branch of the legislattirc, and as guardian of the publick purse; and a house of lords too, or a standing senate, represents the nation for other purposes, viz: as a watch set upon both the representatives and the executive power. The people are the fountain and original of the power of kings and lords, governours and senates, as vell as the house of commons , or assembly of representatives : and if the people are sufficiently enlightened to see all the dangers that surround them, they il ahcays he represented by a distinct personage to manage the whole cxeculive power; a dislinet senate to he guardians of property against levellers for the purposes of plunder^ to be a repositary of the national tradition of publick maxims, customs and manners, and to be controllers in turn both of Kings and their ministers on one side, and the representatives of the people on the other, when either discover a disposition to do wrong; and a distinct house of represeata " tives, to be the guardians of the publick purse, and to pr^» '< iect the people in their turn, against both kings and noblesr^[6]

Having sunk republicanism in subjection to law, jNIr. Adams here sinks representation in hereditary orders. By the definition of " republick" any form of government may constitute it; and by this definition of representation, here- ditary power in every shape, is as much a representative

power, as that elected by the people. Let us consider whe-

ther this definition tends to introduce an unambiguous poli- tical dialect, and to secure the people against deception.

It was said, that Mr. Adams had attempted, by defini- tion, to rob of their arms the shadows of his ennuty, and to transfer these arms to their adversary ; and that if this could be effected, the chief weapons and distinguishing supe- riorities of our policy would be also lost. These shadows, are Turgot's chamber aud Nedham's commonwealth ; the reality upon which this attempt will bear, is the policy of the United States.

The distinguishing superiorities of our policy, are, the sovereignty of the people ; a republican government, or a government producing publick or national good ; and a tho- rough system of responsible representation. All these, Mr. Adams transplants into his system of monarchy and privi- ]e*ed orders, from the policy of the United States, as Ma- homet transplanted several of the best principles of Christi- anity into his system of religion. " The people," says he, J> are the fountain and original of the power o^ kings, lords, governours ^nA senates, as well as the house of commons, or assembly of representatives." Thus he seizes upon our principle of " the sovereignty of the people" and appropri- ates it to the use of his system of kings and lords. He as- serts that, an hereditary limited monarch and a house of lords are as much the representaiiTes of the nation as an house of representatives elected hij the people. Thus he seiz- es upon our principle of responsible representation, and

  • Adams's Defence, v. 3. 367.

bestows that also upon his system of kings and lords. And not contented with depriving our policy of these defences, and bestowing them upon a rival policy, to vhich they do not belong, he even robs it of its name, by defining a repub- lick to be only " an equal subjection to law," and transfers that also to monarchy: — Leaving the policy of the United States, without principles, and without a name, by which i< tnay be spoken of, or distinguished from the English sys- tem. Is this « a language of Babel," or one calculated t<^ be understood? Is it calculated to furnish ambitious pclili cians " with false weights," or to come at trulli?

In his effort to humour the publick opinion of the United States, in favour of '* national sovereignty and representa- tion," Mr. Adams lost sight of that, to prove the existence of " a natural aristocracy." One of these doctrines asserts

    • that the people are sovereign," or in Mr. Adams's words,

" the fountain and original of the power of kings and lords;" the other, " that nature creates an order above and inde- pendently of the people." And to complete the confusion arising from thus confounding contradictory principles, Mr. Adams in the last quotation, has arranged kings and gover- norus, lords and senators, in the class of representatives, and thus after taking from us words, takes away objects also, by which we may know our system of government, from that of king, lords and commons.

If the system of balancing power and properly, contended for by Mr. Adams, would not be exploded by a disingenuous defence; an effort to convince the people of the United States, that their policy is the English system, ought to have no more influence upon the question, than an effort to convince the English nation, that their system was the policy of the United States. Considering such attempts as rather designed to ridicule, than mislead ignorance or prepossession, I will exhibit the essential difference between the two forms of government, in a view, heretofore transiently noticed, and hereafter to be impressed, as occasions eecur. In the last quotation, Mr. Adams recommends his nohle, distinct or permanent Senate, " as guardians of property against levellers;" and in a previous quotation he observes, that " whenever the people have Uad any share in the exe- cutive, or more than one third part of the legislative, they have ahvays abused it, and rendered property insecure;*'— Thus excluding the people from any share in the executive, and any influence over the Senate, (althongh the king and the nobility are, as he says, their representatives,) as the only means of protecting property or clieeking levellers.

The love of property possesses almost an unbounded in- fluence over the human mind. It is therefore an engine to which avarice and ambitio^ will forever resort to effect their purposes; and every institution designed to make the mass of a nation poorer by enriching itself, will invariably avow a contrary intention, for the purpose of inducing the nation to fall into the snare. This is sometimes baited, with a pre- tence, that the people will be abundantly reimbursed in hea- ven, for the money drawn from them to enrich a hieraichy; at others, with the delusion, that they are reimbursed l)r the wealth drawn from them to enricli paper corporations, by an enhanced price for their labour; even for such pro- <luets as are priced by a foreign demand. The fear of losing property, is as strong as the hope of ol)taining it. For this reason, the grossest abuses artfully ally themselves with real and lionest property j and endeavour to excite its apprehension, when attempts are made tt correct them, by exclaiming against the invasion of property and against levelism, and by deceiving the publick with fraudulent epithets.

These, we slmll endeavour to prove, are precisely the grounds taken by Mr. Adams, when he boldly charges all nations, having any share in their own government beyond a third part of the legislative power, with "rendering property insecure;" when he proposes a noble senate as "guardians of property;" and when he endeavours to draw iipou (hose vlio approve of extending the power of t!ie people bcvond l^is limitation, the odium attached to the epithet '♦ levellers." And we shall endeavour to prove, that the charges of levelisin, and rendering property insecure, so repeatedly and profusely urged against republican princi- ples throughout his book, do really recoil upon himself, and adhere to his own system.

The "safety of property" is the very point, by which it is allowed that the reader ought to be determined, in bes- towing a preference upon our policy or the English system Our manners do not thirst for blood ; it is the t];irst of avarice and ambition for wealth and pown-. that we have to withstand.

To understand the (j!iestion, we uught prcvioui^ly to set- tie a satisfactory idea of property. Here it is probable that a disagreement will occur, between the disciples of corpora- tion, monopoly and orders, and myself. It is acknowledged, that I do nol include under the idea of property, any artifi- cial establishment, which subsists by taking away property ; such as hierarchical, kingly, noble, official and corporate possessions, incomes and privileges ; and that I consider those posf essions as property, which are fairly gained by talents uiul industry, or are capable of subsisting, ^vithout taking property from others by law.

If this definition i«i correct, an invision of property constitutes the essential quality of Mr. Adams's system. A king, a nobility and a hierarchy, cannot subsist without property, and this property must be taken away in some mode from others. The system requires a balance of property, as the only mode of balancing power; or, to use the epithet applied by Mr. Adams to those who difler from him, property and power must be levelled among three orders, and this level must he kept up, or the system falls into ruin. Therefore the supposed two orders cannot preserve a political existence, without constantly receiving the profits of two thirds of the property in a nation. This requires a regular system for invading private property to sustain a government consisting of balanced orders. A nation must toil like Sisyphus, whilst an invisible power must eternally defeat their labours, to keep this indispensable balance steady.

Nobility, separate interests or orders, have in all ages taken root and flourished, in an invasion of property. Some mode by which this is effected, will occur as an indissoluble adjunct to every such order or interest; as in tbe fraudu- lent division of conquered lands, which reared and fed the Roman patricians and feudal barons ; in <he sale of indulgences and other frauds of superstition, which reared and fed the popish hierarchy; and in the syslem of paper and patronage, which reared and feeds the English monied interest, and allies it with the crown, from a consciousness of delinquency in its perpetual invasion of property.

Supposing the charge exhibited against governments, under the national control, to be true ; and admitting that they do tend towards levelism ; it would then become ne- cessary to compute, which species of levelism, that of divi- ding property between three orders according to Mr. A- dams's system, or that of dividing property amoug all the individuals of a nation according to the supposed tendency, would produce the most injustice or misery. The first kind of levelism, requires a perpetual balance, only to be obtain- ed and supported, ly an artificial transfer (either fraudulent or forcible) of two thirds of the national income, to two orders consisting of very few persons. This involves a per- petual invasion of the property of the ori^er, comprising almost the whole nation, to the extent of two thirds. And an impoverishment of individuals, with all its calamities up- on mind and body, fullows such an invasion, to a vast ex- tent ; suffered, not for the purpose of supplying the wants of the two orders, or doing them any good, but merely for the political object of establishing a balance of power upon this balance of property.

The guardianship of property derived from the system of orders, must be paid for according to its essential princi- ples, by two thirds of the property of the people ; a price, one would think, which ou£,'ht to secure fidelity in diseharg ing the trust. Instead of this, the system does not admit of the peraaining third being rendered more valuable by indus- try. For should the third left in the hands of the people, be improved up to the value of tJie two thirds, transferred to the other two orders, it would destroy the balance of power. Hence the system requires the acquisitions of in- dustry to be taken away and transferreil, as they appear, to keep up its vital principle of " a balance of property."

This is effected in England by the aid of paper and pat- ronage. The portion of property held by the people, began to grov as soon as perpetuities were abolished, and excited the efforts of avarice and ambition, to transfer to then^- selves tJie acquisitions of industry; to effect this object, re- course was had to tlic fraud of paper and patronage, so well calculated to goad on industry, and to pillage her gains. The levelism of property among three orders, created by perpe- tuities, domains, prerogatives, and tenures (which constitu- ted the essence of the feudal system), had been destroyed by the acquisitions of the popular order, and in its place was invented vt^hat may be called " the perpetual level of pro- perty," by the perpetual motion of paper patronage and taxation. It was a discovery of the political longitude for hereditary and stock navigatoi'S. This perpetual motion, being regulated by these navigators, they can accelerate or retard its velocity, so as to maintain a perpetual level, by a regular transfer of the profit of labour and industry, from the mass of a nation, to themselves, an inconsiderable sec- tion of it. Thus, in fact, reducing Sir. Adams's orders te two only, those who lose property and those who receive it; and producing the tyranny which he justly contends will result from one order governing another.

This attempt to level or balance property among orders, has been concealed in all ages, by charging those who op- pose it with an intention of equalising, levelling or balanc- ing property among individuals; a species of levelism v.hieh has seldom appeared in any shape, would be temporary if attempted^ and is impracticable., If levelism, balancing or equality was practicable, (for the words are the same, however, as Mr. Adams observes, they may be made to be adored by one party and cxecrateA by another,} the merits of the different modes would appear by extending an idea already stated. By the system for equalising property among ortlers, one child gets a third of the whole, one hundred and fifty another third, and eleven ni^Ilions nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, eight hun- dreil and forty nine children, the remaining third ,• by tiiat for equalising property among individuals, each child w ould receive an equal share. The first system of equality, by a distribution excessively oppressive upon individuals, excites ambition, avarice, and universal malignity, and all the train of evil moral qualities annexed to luxury and poverty ; the second system of equality, would produce all the evils of sloth and ignorance.

It is admitted that a greater portion of a natiozi will receive a share, by the paper and patronage system i'o • levelling property, on account of the necessity of extending cor- ruption to defend a fraud, relatively to the extension of knowledge ; and that this multiplication of cliances for a share, operates as a spur to labour and industry, us the efforts of twelve millions of persons Avould be more vigour- ously excited by the enrichment of fifty tliuusand tlian of one hundred and fifty individuals. But the more avarii^e is thus excited, the more oppression becomes ntces;iary to ob- tain the means of its gratification ; an idea furnishing the ground for a comparison between the feudal a'mI the paper aristocracy.

Whether the reader shall hold in most detestation the system of levelling property among orders or among individuals, is unimportant to the question pro^)o-;'>d for his consideration. And the subject is only subialiicd to him that he may discern the ingenuity of the first species of iniquity, in endeavouring to crouch from his eye hohind the second. Conscious that it is the policy of the Fniic.l States to protect property against both these modes of iavading it, the mode of balancing it among orders, artfully endeavours to excite atrodiiim-against that policy, by charging it with a tendency towards the mode of balancing it among individuals, hoping that a recoil of pnblick opinion from one species of iniquity, may throw the nation into the other.

The source of the charge excites distrust. It is brought forward by the system of levelling property among orders. The accusers are the witnesses. And if these accusers and witnesses succeed, their reward is a real two thirds of the wealth and power of the United States, for defeating an ideal balance of property among individuals. The people are gravely advised by Mr. Adams-, to transfer two thirds of their property to two oi'ders, and to keep themselves by perpetual taxation, under a perpetual incapacity of recover- ing it, for the preservation of the balance of power among orders, lest they themselves should adopt the visionary pro- ject of balancing property among individuals. A perpetual balance of property among orders, is the remedy proposed against a transitory project for balancing it among individu- als. The temptations exciting a division of property among individuals, are feeble ; hence it has no advocates, and hence in our present circumstances, it never will have advocates. Those exciting its division among orders, are powerful ; hence it has advocates, and hence the danger of property lurks behind that project.

Property, like liberty, is only to be secured upo!i the broad basis of publick will. When hereditary orders or se- perate interests, tell a nation that it is an enemy to its own liberty, but that liberty will be safe in their care, it is done with a design to rob the nation of liberty ; and wlien these hereditary orders or separate interests tell a nation, that property can only be made secure by investing them with two tiiirds of it, it is done to rob the nation of property.

A specifick balance of property among orders, or separate interests, in the present state of commerce and manners, cannot be effected, by assigning to each order or interest a third part of the land held by a nation : and hence it is obvious, that a landed order, or aristocracy, cannot be established. As land itself cannot be thus balanced, the only remaining mode of effecting this indispensable object to the system of orders, is taxation. Those who receive the transfers of wealth made by taxation, and not those who supply them, must constitute the order or separate interest.

  • 1 cannot be made a nobleman by giving property to B. Ma-

ny conclusions ensue. The objects of paper and patronage in England, receive the benefit of the balance of property, produced by taxation — the modern mode of managing this balance ; therefore those objects, and not the titled nobility, constitute the real order or separate interest in England- Property is balanced by taxing land and labour, not by a di- vision of land ; and therefoi'c land cannot be the basis of an aristocracy. Like all other property, it loses by the balance of property maintained by taxation ; and it is the order whieli gains, and not that which loses, which invariably con- stitutes the aristocracy. An aristocracy, therefore, by the modern mode of creating it, cannot consist of a landed inte- rest, a manufacturing interest, a professional interest, or of any species of interest, that excepted which receives the property annually collected by taxation, charters and privi- leges. It is the share of property received, which conveys the share of power, and produces the balance of botli. Cor- ruption, charters, patronage, pensions and paper systems, are the channels through which the property annually ba- lanced by taxation, is distributed. Therefrom the distribu- tees derive a power, enabling them to do what a titled order would in vain attempt ; to defend themselves and their king or factor, against all other interests and orders.

Let us now proceed to consider the examples in relation io his system, drawn by Mr. Adams fiom the governments of the middle age.

Mr. Adams affects to despise theory, and to prove all his conclusions by experience. Without estimating the difference between the savage and the civilized ; the superstitious and the enlightened ; a city and a great country; he reasons as if every situation and all circumstances, moral and physical, demanded the same political regimen. The manners, the colour, and the social qualities, of the brute creation, are changed by education ; is reason condemned to persist in errours. from Thich instinct Las in seme dej^ree escaped ? His examples are extracted in the second and third volumes, at gicat length, from the Italian repiiblicks. To be guided by these, we must shut our eyes upon the day light shining around, and dive after our character and ca- pacity into the caverns of antiquity. Can any ingenuity in- duce us to believe, that a picture of human depravity and ignorance, during the middle age, is our picture? In considering this rosary of causes, it will hardly be ovei looked, that Mr. Adams has been as evidently a theorist, as in assigning power to title, and forgetting to assign it to wealth.

These cases are confined to the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. "We relinquish the use of the deep ignorance with Avhich these centuries had been overspread y the recent irruptions and conquests of barbarians, and will endeavour to reason in a mode more conclusive.

Mr. Adams considers Florence as affording an experi- ment of the most weight. He enumerates sundry evils en- dured by that city, and infers that his system would have prevented t!iem. The inference is drawn, not from a com- parison between the government of Florence, and other forms existing at the same period, which might have fur- nished probable conclusions ; but from a comparison be- tween governments which existed at periods extremely dis- tant from each other. Parallels between contemporaries, will be allowed to furnish a sounder inference. His histo- ry of Florence commences in the year 1?15. The parlia- ment of England received the shape of king, lords and com- mons, as far back as that year ; indeed, an act of purlianjent sippears to have been pleaded, made in the reign of William the conqueror. From hence to the end of the fifteenth cen- tury, when Mr. Adams's history of Italian miseries end&, the balance of power and property in England among orders, was more consonaiit to his tlicory tliaii at present. The representation of the plebeian ortler, was more equal at that time than now; because inhabited and not liejiopula- ted boroughs were represented. Property was placed by perpetuities in a settled state oi' division and balance among orders; this division and balance is now superseded by its division tlirough commerce and alienation among individu- als, and by the balance of taxation between payers and re- ceivers. The titled order then held a real share of power, attracted by their share of property; now, power is attract- ed from title by a richer order or intepest. Here was strong ground for a sober inquirer after truth. The contemporary evils generated by the king, loids and commons of England, and by liie Italian rejiublicks, ought to have been minutely detailed and compared. Then the preponderating mass might have been discovered; and then similar evils might have been referred to some common cause. The feuds and wars among the barons, between these and the kings, between the kings and the people, between pretenders to the crown, between the nation and its neigh- bours; catalogues of executions, murders, confiscations, ba- nishments; sci:^:ures of church lands and monasteries: chan- ges of religion and persecutions, begotten by amours, or bigotry; and all the effects of prerogative, privilege and feudal tenure, ought to have been made to face the calami- ties of the Italian republicks, to enable us to determine which were most hideous. These calamities brought face to face, would have exhi- bited a resemblance not to be obliterated. And the chief distinction between them, would have consisted of more art, civilization and knowledge, among the Italians than among the English, iiifused by their greater portion of republican- ism. From the resemblance, however, would have resulted an illustration of an analysis which supposes, that evil moral eflci^ts are produced by monarchy, aristocracy or democrac.v, either simple or mixed. The democracies. aristocracies, monarchies and mixtures, both of England and Italy, produced evil effects. In both countries ranks or orders existed during the three centuries to which Mr. Adams confines himself.

Admitting an exchange of forms of government to have taken place, between Enghmd and Italy, an excliange of contemporary evils or effects might have also followed ; and it is not improbable but that Italy would have made the worst of the bargidn. Her little repwblicks, would have been convei'ted into little kinf^doms; and the rivalry and am- bition of neighbouring commonwealths, would have been exchanged for the rivalry and ambition of neighbouring kings. The little commonwealths existed more centuries, than the kingdoms would liave done years ; if y>e may judge: by the invariable fate of a cluster of small kings. Is not this a proof of the sni>erior excellence or moderation, of the republican^ to the monarchical principle?

The numerous disunited territorial divisions of Italy, was the substratum for her republican experiment; a terri- tonal union, of the English experiment for balancing pro- perty and oiders. Italy was distracted by the mutual an- noyance of jealous neighbours, and the intrigues of the Pope and the Empcrour. England was strong in its ex- tent, fortified by nature, and less exposed to foi'cign influ- ence. Under these disadvantages, during the three centu- ries we are estimating, Italy outstiipt England in arts, knowledge and w ealth ; and probably saved the science and eivilii^^ation of the world, from being lost in those ag-es of darkness. Her evils were inferior to those of England, un- der the pressure of greater local difficulties ; and her pros- perity greater, w ith fewer local advantages. But the tinc- ture of republicanism was infinitely stronger in the Italian forms of government, than in the English.

There existed however, it must be admitted, a strong resemblance between the evils suffered by both, which excites a reasonable suspicion, that these evils flowed from some riausc, ako commoa te both. The structure of the govern ments was dissimilar, therefore this structure could not liave bcea the cause. But a similarity existed between En* gland and Italy, in two material circumstances during these centuries; ignorance and nobility. England and Italy were both ill a state of turbulence and misery during the con- templated period, The balances of England, w ould there- I'ore have been an ineffectual experiment to cure the cala- mities of Italy; and the mixed republicanism of Italy, as ioefiectual to cure the calamities of England. The evil moral causes, ignorance and nobility, being common to both countries, would still have produced evil effects, had they been transposed.

From the termination of the fifteenth century, the two chief calamities which had previously afflicted Europe, diminished in malignancy. Printing gradually mitigated the effects of ignorance; and commerce and alienation, gradually destroyed the balance of property and power among orders. To defend noble or privileged orders by a comparison between Italy, before the discovery of printing and under a feudal monopoly of land, and England, enlightened by that art, and relieved from this monopoly, is reasoning thus: As England, after the power and influence of her nobility were destroyed by alienation and the diffusion of knowledge, became happier than Italy, whilst afflicted with powerful noble orders, therefore noble orders are blessings.

The amelioration of the human condition, though general to Europe, was not precisely the same in each country. It seems in a great measure to have been graduated by the thermometer of nobility, and to have proceeded with celerity or tardiness, in proportion to the imbecility or strength of noble orders.

In Russia and Poland, the nobility long retained property and power, and the people, oppression and misery. In France and Germany, the nobility retained more of its property and power, than in England, and the people were more oppressed. In England, nobility received the first and hardest blow, and she jiwddenly overtook and surpassed several countries in prosperity, which were previously ahead of her. And in the revolution of France, the abolition of nobility, made roorii for a wonderful national energy and superiority, which will not be forgotten by politicians. The liistory of £ng;Iand suppoi-ts these ideas. The reign of king John ended in 1216, and that of Henry the se- venth in 1509, so that the collection of Italian troubles made by Mr. Adams, is contemporary with the troubles of En- gland during the reigns of John, Henry 3d, Edward 1st, Edw. 2d, Edw. 3d, Rieliard 2d, Henry 4th, 5th and 6th, Edwj 4th, Rich. 3d, and Henry 7th.

During these reigns, the nobility were rich and power- ful, and the troubles of England, dreadful and unremitting. Henry the seventh began to break their power by diminish- ing their property, and the situation of the nation began to mend. As commerce and alienation proceeded in this w ork, the situation of the nation grew better ; and since the new project of annually balancing property by taxation, l»as been substituted for the old project of a specifick landed balance, the parish poor and the publick debt, the poverty and the luxury, the vices and the wretchedness of the nation have all increased.

Powerful and wealthy orders, in no country under any form of government, have existed in union with national happiness; a system therefore, which proposes so to balance them, as to compel them to be subservient to it, is not ex- perimental, and only a theory. Let us consider^ whether it is entitled even to the weight of naked theory.

If Mr. Adams's theory existed in England at any period, before the sixteenth century, it did not produce effects which can invite us to adopt it : and afterwards, the political progress of England received its direction from the assaults made upon the power and property of the nobility by Henry the seventh, and by alienation, commerce, paper and patronage. The system therefore is made worse than naked theory, by inimical experience. The miseries of the first period, were suddenly diminished, and the effects of the second gra dually prodireed, by successful combataats against nobility, the corner stone of his system.

The animation of defending it, by the 'experience of the Italian republieks, is still more remarkable than the use made of the experience of England. IMie history wf Flo- rence, says Mr. Adams, is the history of them all. This is only a detail of the treasons and oppressions of a turbulent nobility. We hear constantly of the Boundelmontj, Uberti, Amadei, Donati, (Sierchi, Neri, Biarchi, Medeeei, Atbigi, and others, with their castles^ of publick calamities ori- ,^inating in the ambition, wickedness or folly of a nobkman^ of confederations between orders, and between noble J^mi- lies ; and of efforts and concessions on the part of ^le people <o restrain these disorders. Whilst these disoi^crs ju«  ttseribe<l to the nobility, Mr. Adams imputes them to the people ; merely because they did not try exactly, as hF thinks, his balance of orders; and felicitating his conntrj

  • n having discovered a retncily for these disoitlers, he is

titling to rebuild castles for noMes, or to erect the more impregnable fortress of paper and patronage for aristocracy, t« evince the dextei'ity with which the calamilies endnrefl by Florence from nobility, may be averted from the United? States. Nobility vas the 'sburcfe of evil to Florence ; Flo- rence therefore furnishes no experiment, shewing nobility to have been a source of good. A system to convert nobiiitv into a blessing, is worse than theory, if experience exhibits it as a curse. A few other quotations from the book f)f ■♦ex- perience are nee^^ssary to fix its character.

<* Machiavel," says J^Ir. Adams, « infoi'Ois him, that " the government of Floren^ce was fallen into great disorder « and misrule ; for the Guelph nobility, being the majority.

  • « Mere grown so insolent, and «tood in so little awe of the
  • •' magistracy, that though many ihurders and other vio-
  • < lenees were daily committed, yet the cnminals daily

" escaped with impunity., tbro^ugh favonr of one or the other of the nobles."[7] "But the behaviour lof the nobiliiy Avas cjmtie tbc ton*

  • •' i:rary," says MacliiaVel, « "fiyr ^as they always ilfedained

<•' the thoagihts «f equaKty, even wfien they lived a private « life, 80 BOW they were in the iniagisti'at5y, they thought tb •* domineer over the whole city, and ev«ry day produced « fresh instances of their pride aiwl arrogance ; whi'eh exceedingly galled the people, when they saw th^E^y had deposed one tyrant to make room for a thousand."

« All this," says Mr. Adams, " tme fiiay safely believe « to be exactly true^ but what then ? Why, they ought to

    • have separated the nobles from the commons, and made

« «a«h independent of the other.*'*[8]

These nobles were tried " in pri^^ate life and in the ma- gistracy," in both they retained the vicious qualities of the Tieious principle, nobility. True, says Mr. Adams, but they were not tried aecorcKng to my theory. Many at- tempts in various modes, some approaching to his theory, were unsuccessfully made in Italy to gratify or purify the principle, nobility; all failed; it continued to exhibit vicious qualities. At this period, the nobles in England wei-e sepa- rated from and independent of the house of commons, and ihxt house of the nobles ; yet the vicious qualities of nobi- lity eaused a multitude of disorders. Mr. Adams admits the insolence of nobility, and the disorders it produces ; his i*emedy to cure insolence and ambition, is power and wealth.

The nobles of Poland, were rich and powerful; they ruined their country, rather than soften the condition of the people. Those of Russia receive districts with the inhabitants as donations from an emperour. But, says Mr. Atlams, "hereditary kings and nobles are as much representatives of the people as those they elect." In Russia they represent them as part of their estates. Thus the feudal English barons represented the people, whilst possessed of their baronies ; now, by selling them to the crown. We see in all instances, that nobility, Avith great wealth and power, is a tyrant ; with little, a traitor ,* and that orders op interests,

  • Adams's Def. v. 2, 46.

subsisting on the people, invariably oppress or sell them for how can they otherwise subsist ?

Mr. Adams allows wealth to be the great machine for governing the world, and yet he makes no distinction be- tween a rich order or interest, and a poor one. He has seen a rich nobility in Poland overbalance both a king ami a people. He has seen a rich nobility, clergy and king in the late monarchy of France, overbalancing the people. He has seen rich barons dethroning poor kings, and poor ones the creatures of rich kings. It is in vain to say that these poor nobles have a share in the legislature, if they have neither property nor influence, to restrain or balance the wealth and influence of the king, with his urray, and liis patronage. A constitution, which divides rights among orders, giving to one a share, but no power to defend it ; and to another a share, with power to encroach, to menace and to corrupt, will be as defective, as one Avhich should bestow all power upon an individual, or a single assembly, with an Injunction not to abuse it.

These arguments tend to show, that a balance of orders cannot exist without a balance of property among these orders, as Lord Shaftsbury and Mr. Adams unite in assert- ing. Concurring with these authors, two inferences of im- portance present themselves.

One, that as a balance or equality of landed property cannot subsist in community with the present state of knowledge, commerce and alienation ; and as a balance or equality of power, cannot subsist without a balance of property, so the system of equalising power and property between a confederation of orders, if established, could only sustain its perfection during the moment of transit over the true balance, which might occur in the flight of property on the wings of commerce, alienation and knowledge, from the minor to the numerous order. The same effects could not possibly result from the gas of a balance of property, as from a real balance itself. The other is still more important. As no balance of speeifick property among confederated orders, can exist in communion with the present state of knowledge, commerce and alienation, taxation becomes the only engine for distri- buting and balancing property ; and must arrange society into the two orders of payers and receivers. The latter being the enriched, must govern the impoverished order , and being a minority, is by nature an aristocracy. Though a king, a titled and a plebeian order may continue to exist, the three nominal orders, are absorbed by the two real, and the evils follow, allowed by Mr. Adams to be invariable consequences of two orders.

The history of England demonstrates these remarks. The nobility were oppressive, whilst they held an over pro- portion of property, by laws for perpetuating inheritances a and the monied aristocracy has become more oppressive by laws for transferring to it an over proportion of property, not through manors, but through taxation. The poison of perpetuities is lodged in the property secured to a separate interest, not in the mode of securing it ; nor can it be ren- dered innoxious, by the title of noble, clerical or stock. Had the feudal barons exchanged their perpetual inheritan- ces, for the perpetual income of stock and patronage, their power would never have been broken,, whilst this new spe- cies of perpetuity lasted.

This view of the subject accounts for the former and present conduct of the English nobility. 'hilst their pro- perty gave them powei", they despised the system of taxa- tion and patronage, civil commotion was the fruit of their arrogance and ambition, and feudal tenures and services fed their avarice. But when their property v as diminished, and the king became the annual dispenser of a treasury perpetually replenished by loaning and taxation, then this nobility were converted into the courtiers of the crown, and the satellites of its usurpations. They fell under an influence, equivalent to an annual distribution by the king, of a^if ient b»rontes^< aiaoDg the partisans of mouarchy. Yet the United States have pointed their constitutional attillery against the anstocraeies of superstition and the feudal sys- tem, after reason had destroyed the first, and knowledge, eontmerce and alienation, the second. Did they fear or fove the living foe, the aristocracy of paper and patronage bottomed upon perpetual taxation? or were they deceived at the formation of their constitutions, heeause it joined in t'PaiupHi^ upon the dead bodies of its predecessors? They will no longer hesitate in discerning, that the project of equalising property among titled orders, is as impracticable in coBimuwiou with knowledge, commerce and alienation, or mth the system of paper and patronage, as is the project of equalising it among individuals, in communion with hu- man mortality;^that both must remain speculative theories, rebutted by experience, until perpetuities are i*e-establish- ed, or immortality without fecundity is bestowed on man- kind; and that, excluding the idea of either, the election of tlic United States is confined to a distribution of property by industry and talents, or according to the avarice of a se- parate and minor portion of the society, by perpetual taxa- tion, paper currencies and the arts of patronage. The feu- dal perpetuities cost tbe nation nothing; stock pei-petuities are erected wholly at their expense. Is it better to entail stock on the nation to make an aristocracy, or to allow fathers to entail their lands on their sons for the same purpose?

Mr. Adams frequently endeavours to apply historical facts' to his theory or the English system ,• these applications oould not be past over, nor could the justifications of the American policy which his own facts furnished, be omitted. Oar business proceeds either by shewing the insufliciency of the evidence, in favour of balancing property and power among confederated orders; the impossibility of in. troducing and supporting such a balance now, if it ever did exist; or the preference of our policy to that. We are not deviating therefore from the subject, in deviating ^Kkv^what IVem our quotation?. To these let us return. The evidence of Macliiavel, " that the noWes Avere the aause of the publick calamities which afflicted Italj'" is ad- mitted by Mr. Adams to be true. It is then admitted, that nobility distracted Italy for three centuries ,• that it caused innumerable publick calamities j and that ultimately it usurped tyrannical power, almost over every Italian repub- lick. This is the evidence. It was said that the evi- dence adduced in favour of nobility by Mr. Adams, was against it.

But this is only the evidence acknowledged by Mr. Adams to be true. He omitted to acknowledge, that under the operation of the system of king, lords and commons i» England, nobility were turbulent and tyrannical, as long as their property was nailed to them by entails, and that tliey gradually sunk into parasites of royalty, after the nail was drawn. Nobility, whenever it has appeared, has proved it- self to be an evil moral principle by its cflccts. Experience is in full opposition to Mr. Adams's theory. And the ques- tion is, whether the United States will overlook experi- ence, to make one more attempt to convert nobility into a good moral principle, for the sake of satisfying Mr. Adams's ardour.

Mr. Adams's collection of Italian calamities, comes doAvn but a few years lower than 1495. AV e have ascribed them partly to ignorance, believing that ignorance is an evil principle, which enables nobility to afflict human nature with additional misery. But Mr. Adams, without consi- dering the different degrees of knowledge and ignorance, ex- isting six centuries past and at this time, uniformly consi- ders liis theory as a complete panacea for every political body, whatever may be its malady.

And yet he says that " in 1495 a man appeared in Florence, who declared that God had constituted him his ambassador to Florence, with full power and express orders to declare his will; and this egregious impostor regulated the government.[9] Mr. Adams believes that las l^ory was calculated to regulate the government of a society, in a state of manners and ignorance, adapted for the practices of an egregious impostor. Supposing him riglit in this opinion, some rea- son ought to have been given, why a system, suitable to a national inclination for imposition and fraud, would also be suitable for an enlightened people. Until this is done, it is evident, that if the experiments of the Italian republicks, prove, as Mr. Adams asserts, (hat his theory Avould have been suitable to a state of ignorance and manners, similar to the Florentine ,• it is by no means a consequence, that it is suitable also for a state of knowledge and manners simi- lar to the American. Degrees of infatuation may exist, for which imposition is the only remedy; and it does not follow, that by proving a tiling to be a remedy for infatuation, that it would be useful where there is no infatuation. AMthout illustrating the ignorance and infatuation of Italy by a his- tory of the crusades, we will pass on to the following quo- tation.

"The quarrel between Frederick the emperour, and Gregory the Pope, revived in Bologna the party distinctions of Guelphs and Ghibellines, drawn from Germany in the time of Henry the fourth. Not only some cities favoured the emperour, and others the pontiff, but in the city of Bologna, the citizens arrived to that degree of extreme madness, that, in hatred of each other, they strove to deprive each other of their lives and fortunes together. « Sons became enemies to their fathers, and brothers to brothers; and, as if it was not enough to shed their own blood, like mad dogs, they proceeded to demolish houses, and to burning the cities, the trees and the corn. This diabolical pestilence produced such an aversion to each other, that they studied to distinguish themselves in all things: in their clothes, in the colours they wore, in their a actions, their speech, their walk, their food, their salutations, their drink, their manner of cutting bread, in folding their napkin?, in the cut of their hair, and innu "merable other extravagances equally wliinisieal. A « plague truly horrible, a flame Avholly '.,iextinguishahTc, «< which proved the extinction of so many noble families, " and the ruin of so many miserable cities." This picture of the effects of orders, is urged by Mr. Adams in favour of orders. He ascribes the calamities of Italy to the popular forms of their governments, and tells us at the same time, that they were owing to an Eniperour, a Pope, and a nobility. Here then are all his orders, and one more than he contends for ,• but one which will always be resorted to as an engine, in a rivalship between two others. A hierarchy is an engine which hereditary orders play upon eacli other, or upon the people. We find thar the experiments of Italy were made with the one, the few, the many, and an established church. It was said, that they bore a strong resemblance to Mr. Adams's theory, and the English system.

Let us suppose that Mr. Adams had written against orders, and in favour of the policy of the United States. Would he have considered the calamities in which the Italian republicks were involved by an Emperour, a Pope and a nobility, as justifying or condemning our policy in excluding a king, a metropolitan, and hereditary orders? Would the effects stated in the extract, of a jealousy among such orders, have been urged by him to prove, that they were a curse, or a blessing? Would he have advised the United States, after recapitulating the human miseries begotten by a jealousy of orders, in every instance of their existence, to surrender their peace and happiness, merely to try whether this evil principle, from which horrours innumerable have proceeded, might be made to produce good? No, he would have demonstrated, that no politician, no theorist, no moral alchymist, has skill able to change the nature of good and evil, and to reverse the moral laws of the Deity. And he would have warned us pathetically against suffering our governments to be modelled upon such a calculation, even

  • Adams's Def. v. 2, 405. 4C6.

though the projector should declare himself to be an ambassaador from God.

Nothing can more evidently display an imagination heated beyond the temperature of impartial reason, than a resort to contradiction in supporting a project.

Mr. Adams tells us that " there were in Italy, in the middle age, one hundred or two of cities, all independent republicks, and all constituted in the same manner. The bistory of one is, under diiferent names and various circum- stances, the history of all." He addresses two volumes of examples, drawn from republicks consisting of single cities, as evidence to extensive countries ; and, rejecting even the idea, that extensive territory, national strength, and national safety, would alone have obviated many misfortunes to which these little republicks were liable, he positively assures us, that human nature is always the same, and that therefore governments consisting of single cities, furnish correct pre- cedents for the direction of numerous nations and extensive countries. Only premising, that the same argument Avould prove the propriety of teaching a great and free people how to govern themselves, by examples drawn from armies, crowded in dangerous garrisons, under their general, officers and chaplains, we will proceed directly to the alleged inconsistency.

Nedham, in his "right constitution of a commonwealth," had drawn arguments from the democratical cantons of Switzerland, which Mr. Adams thus disposes of.

"There is not even a colour in his favour in the democratical cantons of Switzerland — narrow spots or barren mountains, where the people live on milk; nor in St. Marino or Ragusa : no precedents, surely, for England or « American States, where the people are numerous and rich, the territory capacious, and commerce extensive."

All Mr. Adams's evidence, in his two last volumes, is drawn (Nieuchattel excepted, a narrow principality in Swit- zerland itself,) out of little republicks, composed of single

  • Adams's Def. v. 3, 355.

cities, less than many cantons of Switzerland, in times of ignorance and superstition, and when the state of poverty was such, that it was a great distinction to own a horse. " No precedents, surely, for England or American States, <* where the people are numerous and rich, the territory

    • capacious, and the commerce extensive." And thus he

very correctly overturns, and disallows the whole evidence upon which his two last volumes are built. *

He does more ; he acknowledges an erroneous mode of reasoning in defence of his theory, in liaving wholly omitted to estimate the influence of physical or moral circumstances upon political experiments, and in hastily concluding human nature under all to be the same ; by admitting the decisive force of such circumstances.

In the quotation, extent of territory, population, wealth and commerce, are expressly stated as affecting forms of government, and such an influence is even insinuated as likely to ensue from a milk diet. Still stronger differences ought to have occurred to Mr. Adams, between his Italian cities and American states. Their relative situation as to knowledge and ignorance, superstition and religion, privileged orders and equality, are differences, infinitely stronger than those, admitted of themselves sufficiently strong to destroy evidence similar to his own.

To contend both for the propriety and absurdity of the same evidence, by arguments urged for one object, and refuted for another, discloses an impetuosity in speculation, which ought at least to awaken an apprehension, that hereditary orders are more likely to repeat the crimes which Mr. Adams allows them to have committed, than to be converted into blessings by a balance of property and power.

Had not Mr. Adams's evidence been inapplicable both to the moral and physical situation of the United States, it is brouglit forward in a mofle better calculated to excite passion and prejudice, than reason and reflection. A mass of errour, rage and ambition ; of tragical catastrophe, soliciting sympathy by naming the persons of the drama ; and of demolished castles, mangled limbs, and putrid carcasses, is exhibited. But truth can only be discovered by considering the evidence on both sides. Another mass of these disgusting materials, labelled "Behold the effects of monarchy and aristocracy," might have saved the United States the humiliation of having their credulity experimentally removed. Or was it necessary to excite an abhorrence of republican governments, to prepare the mind for a patient contemplation even of the modest monarchy, called limited.

A search among the relicks of antiquity, for principles of which to form a modern government, requires a contemporaneous estimate. The superiority of the republican policy of the United States over the ancient monarchies of Persia and Macedonia, is an argument precisely as strong in favour of popular governments, as would have been the superiority of the present monarchy of Britain, over the republicks of Athens, Rome, Carthage and of Italy, in favour of monarchy, supposing Mr. Adams to have established it. In both cases the argument would be inconclusive. But although results of inconclusive authority only can arise from a comparison between ancient and modern governments; yet a comparison of ancient governments witli each other, will furnish strong indications of preference and superiority between political principles.

These indications uniformly appear on the side of the popular principle; and the nearer the forms of government approached to the policy of the United States, the stronger are the indications of superiority. As rivals of Rome and Carthage, the contemporary monarchies are almost imperceptible; and above an hundred generations, almost forgetting what the rest of the world did at that time, have transmitted to us an admiration of the little Athenian democracy, which we shall hand down to a fathomless posterity.

But let us come to the world we live in ; to a world, not guided by superstition but by religion. Instead of diving after wisdom into the gloom of antiquity, when men made sods, let us leave Mr. Adams in possession of his opinion, that under truth or superstition, under the Deity or Jupiter, the human character is the same. And leaving divines also to felicitate themselves on the inutility of their labours, which this doctrine admits, let us bring into comparison the existing competitors for pre-eminence. These are the first among republicks, and the first among monarchies.

If the comparison commences from the first settlement of the United States, several centuries of prosperity and good order present themselves under the colonial form of government. How can this prosperity and good order be accounted for? By the absence of jealous and rival orders; by the absence of the system of balancing power and property between such orders; by the absence of the system of paper and patronage, for perpetuating property to one interest at the expense of another; and by the absence of a nominal king. The errours in the form of the colonial government slept, because these evils were not present to awaken them; and the solitary good principle it possessed, operated under a sufferance, arising from the inattention of the evil principles united with it. Election sufficed to produce colonial prosperity and good order, and silently formed the national character and love of liberty, which sustained a furious war almost devoid of any other resource.

At length monarchy, aristocracy, and taxation, awakened. Mr. Adams's hereditary representation and cur elective representation, appeared to be principles exactly opposite, in producing opposite effects. His hereditary orders, and the system of paper and patronage, took one side, and the elective principle the other. Hereditary orders and the people, here, as in Rome and Italy, quarrelled. Had a portion of these orders, and the projects of banking and funding, been mingled with the elective system at the commencement of these hostilities, they would have destroyed its efficacy, in like manner as nobility has uniformly destroyed the efficacy of the elective principle, wherever it has been mingled with it; and as a paper influence has destroyed its efficacy ia England. And as election has never produced equal beneficial effects, in communion with nobility or with paper and patronage, as when disunited from them in the instance of the United States, it probably never will.

In addition to the colonial prospei'ity, under the sub- stantial auspices of the elective principle, that which we have experienced subsequently to tbe revolution is no theo- ry, no hypothesis ; it is plain matter of fact, of above thirty years standing. In every modification of their govern- ments, the United States have adhered to it. AVlien have we seen the people perpetrating the atrocious crimes char- ged to popular governments, plundering property, banishing merit, or tearing asunder the limbs of innocence ? Where are wars, tumults, oppression, prosecutions and corruption, proceeding from the people ? If these calamities have not appeared under our policy, we ought to conclude that they proceeded in former times from the causes which we have excluded 5 or that the human character has undergone a mo- ral change, which secures a nation, if it will govern itself, against any danger from itself.

From the facts established by the experience of the Uni- ted States, turn to the contemplation of those established by the experience of the English system of hereditary orders, paper and patronage, during the same period. Esti- mate the wars, entered into for the purpose of instructing Europe in political metaphysicks, or for the sake of these orders. Estimate the taxes, the tythes, the poor houses^ the prisons, the fleets, the armies, the banishments to colo- nise a wilderness under martial law, the bastiles of state eriminals, the well tenanted gibbets, the nationul debt, and the patronage and corruption which guides and poisons eve- ry publick measure.

If it be urged, that commotions have appeared under our system; without stopping to inquire, whether they ought to be ascribed to that, or to the arts of its rival system, it suffices to exhibit as a counterpoise to our bloodless wars, and comical excursions, the commotions in Ireland, marked by devastation and slaughter. It cannot be omitted, that Connecticut underwent no eijang;e of government by the revolution. Here, more power has been condensed for centuries in representatives frequent- ly elected, than is enjoyed by representatives in any other state of the Union. The happiness and good order of Con- necticut, during the long operation of her popular form of government, infinitely exceeds the happiness and good or- der of Eijgland during the same, or any other period. Pri- vileged orders had no influence in Connecticut, and whate- ver happiness and prosperity she enjoyed, was owing to the elective principle. The continued efficacy of election for two centuries in this instance, unconnected with privileged orders, accounts for its ineiScacy in their presence. This remark is rarther warranted, by the contemporary appear- ance of party malevolence and a paper system in the United States. So soon as an imitation of the English policy for dividing the nation into the two orders of payers and receiv- ers, began to operate, the rivalry of orders, and the avarice of interest, began to make their accustomed efforts, to des- troy the good effects of election.

Of the disgust against it, which thcj excite themselves, these vicious principles will be tiic first to take advantage. Mr. Adams has already seriously informed us, that hereditary kings and nobles are as much the representatives of the nation, as those they elect ; and the following quotation will enforce the argument, accounting for the inefficaey of election in communion with privileged or seperate interests ; because it displays the intemperate enmity entertained by their disciples to the elective principle.

« If the elections are in a large country like England, for example, or one of the United States of America, where various cities, towns, boroughs, and corporations are to be represented, each scene of election will have two or more candidates, and two or more parties, each of which will study its sleights and projects, disguise its designs, draw in tools, and worm out enemies. We must remember, that every party, and every individual, is now "stragling for a share in the executive and judicial power as well as legislative, for a share in the ciistpibution of all " honours, offices, rewai'ds and profits. Every passion and " prejudlfce of every voter vill!)s applied to; every flattery « And menace, every trick and biibe that can be bestoAved, «^ aStd will be accepted, will be used ; arid what is horrible

  • '='t(f think of, that candidate or that a2;cnt rvho has feu-est
    • scruples; who will provagafe lies and slanders with ti>ost

<• confidence and secrecy : wlio will wheedle, pitter and ca- '*'jdlc : who will dehauch ihe people hij treats, feasts and di-

  • ' z-ersionswith the least hesitation, and hrile with the most

" impudent front, which can consist with hypocritical Con- " eealment, will draw in tools and worm out enemies the « fastest : unsulUed honour, sterling integrity, real Tirt^ie, 'i will stand a venj unequal chance. When vice, follij, im- " pudence and knavery, lun^e carried the election one year, « they -zvill acquire, in the course of it, fresh influence and

  • ' power to succeed the next. In the course of the year, the

" delegate in an assembly that disposes of all commissions, « contracts and pensions, has many opportunities to reward

  • < his friends among his constituents, and punish his ene-

" mies. The son or other relation of one friend has a com-

  • ' mission given him in the army, another in the na^nj, a

« third a benefice in the church, a fourth in the customs, a

  • • fifth in the excise ; shares in loans and contracts are dis-

" tributed among his fiiends, by which they are enabled to « increase their own and his dependents and partisans, or, « in other words, to draw in more instruments and parties, " and worm out their opposites. All this is so easy to com-

  • < prebend, so obvious to sight, and so certainly known in

" universal experience, that it Is astonishing that our au- « thor should have ventured to assert, that such a govern- « ment kills tl:e canker-worm faction."[10]

The reader will be pleased to remark, that Mr. Adams has had his eye fixed upon the operation of election in England, whilst he is giving its character. The enumerated, modes of corruption, were most of them exclusively practised in England when he wrote this extract; and the means of practising the greater part, did not even exist in the United States. Presently, we shall exhibit extracts, wherein Mr. Adams recommends hereditary orders as the refuge from the vices of election. He is obliged to bend his eye towards England, to get the contour of a detestable picture of election, and places it before our eyes, to induce us to introduce the policy of England. He will not see, that one elective system is more perfect than the English, because it is less corrupted by the very policy, which has furnished the ideas for his invective; but the United States will ever be charmed to fly down the gaping throat of a dreadful monster, in order to escape its malignancy. They will behold this character of election when united with hereditary orders, or seperate interests, as a confession of the enmity and inconsistency of the two principles, and of the certain corruption of the first, by an alliance with the second.

It will not be denied, that the elective system of the United Slates, is chargeable with several of the vices imputed to election by Mr. Adams; but it does not follow, that we ought to surrender it for a system exposed to them all. The use, which republicanism ought to make of the charge, is, to awaken her sons to the necessity of removing these vices. Their danger is imminent, when they are already made the ground of a treatise in recommendation of hereditary orders, as preferable to the vices of election. Nor does the difficulty of rendering the elective system more perfect in America, seem to be insurmountable, when it is recollected, that the whole catalogue of vices ascribed to it by Mr. Adams, arises from a capacity in the delegate to acquire or dispose of money and offices. The effects of this capacity prove it to be an evil political principle, exciting the evil moral qualities of human nature. It is capable of removal from legislative delegates, and if it produces the effects ascribed to it by Mr. Adams, it ought to be remove<l. But this subject belongs to the defects of the constitution of the United States. Let us, therefore, return to a contemplation of Mr. Adams's invective against election. It is a mode of attack, precisely similar to tliat used against popular governments. To discredit the one, a vast collection of evils is made, arising under a vast variety of governments, whether produced by the form of the government, or by other causes. To dis- credit the other, a picture is drawn of all the vices of elec- tion, acting with orders. *' It is horrible to tliink of,'* says Mr. Adams. His horrour might have been considerably augmented, by collecting into amass all the vices of human na- ture, which would have completely rounded up the doctrine "that republicanism was a hell, election its tui bulence, and men its devils."

Human reason must turn on preference, not on perfection. If election is exploded, shall we be requited for its loss hy the virtual representation of kings and nobles ; or by surrendering our government to paper and patronage ? These are the objects, with which we must compare election, before we are seduced to give it up for a system more defec- tive, l)ecause Mr. Adams contends, that, like every thing human, it is imperfect. Admitting it to be so, it is unnev- cessary in imitation of Mr. Adams's mode of reasoning, to enrage our readers with a collection of the follies, oppres- sions and cruelties, committed by the fools, tyrants and mad- men, to which hereditary representation has exposed the world ; to prove that hereditary representation is more defective than actual election.

America has experienced both. Hereditary representation assailed her liberty and happiness; elected representation defended them. She has seen hereditary representation destroying the existence of the Irish nation; whilst elected representation, though unequal and corrupted, made some stand for it. There, hereditary representation disclosed that kind of responsibility, which Congress would disclose by a law for uniting these States with England; and had hereditary representation existed at the peace, a king like that enjoyed by Ireland, of the Neuchattel species, would probably have been one of its fruits. Our quotation must be recollected to understand the remarks it suggests. It may be thus condensed. In such countries as England and America, election will produce every species of villainy; the greatest rascals will succeed; and being once elected, will retain their power."

Mr. Adams does not perceive, that iiis eagerness for hereditary orders, has here again entangled him in an inconsistency. For their sake he labours to inculcate an abhorrence of election, without recollecting, that he relies upon it for one branch of his own theory. Will he say, that election, united with hereditary orders, will be purged of its bad qualities? That it is abominable, applied to a senate, governour or president ; but admirable, applied to a house of commons? And will he, by escaping from the inconsistency through these assertions, pass final sentence upon our policy in the opprobrious epithets of the extract ?

But Mr. Adams cannot be permitted to avail himself of these assertions; and therefore his disapprobation of election, must stand, unqualified and unequivocal. It cannot be conceded as true, that election in England exhibits fewer vices, than in the United States; or that the elected order of that country, are less corrupt than the elected functionaries of this. If, therefore, he explodes the whole of our policy by discrediting election, he also explodes so much of his as depends upon the same principle, and leaves to his own theory, nothing that he commends, hereditaiy representation excepted.

It is not by inconsistent railings and unbounded applauses, that we are edified. It is not by magnifying the defects of election, and concealing its benefits, that we can estimate its value. Had a fair comparison been drawn between the state of election, in the United States and io England, a vast superiority in point of purity, would have appeared on the side of the United States. If so, frequency and purity of election, are in concord ; and nobility and purity of election, in discord. The idea and origin of election, have been generally, if act universally, defective, until the American revolution. In England, it is to this day a remnant of feudality, planted by prerogative. It is derived, not from the inherent natural right of self government, but from the gratuitous donation of a feudal monarch.

Ambition and avarice have been perpetually forming combinations, and practising devices for depriving men of their rights. Hence ensue struggles for redress; in the progress of which, if the usurpers find it prudent to relax, they artfully deal out these relaxations, not as rights independent of their pleasure, but as meritorious acts of grace and favour.

Accordingly, election or self government being a right fatal to usurpation, whenever some portion of it could no longer be withheld from the people, usurpers have laboured to defeat it, first, by restricting it to the idea of an indulgence; and, secondly, by contaminating it with destructive modifications.

The struggles between the people and nobles of Rome; the indulgence and modification of suffrage; the mode of voting, so as to bestow the decision on wealth or poverty; the inveterate parties created by this division; and the vast indefinite powers retained by the senate; were artifices of hereditary orders to contaminate election and defeat its effects.

By stratagem, also, has election been managed in England. It M as an indulgence of the kings. It was bestowed without rule, according to the suggestions of royal interest or ambition. And it is retained in its present corrupt state, to destroy its efficacy. It discloses no principle of right or justice, in origin, modification or practice.

Why tiieu lias Mr. Adams estimated the elective principle by the examples of Rome and England, where it was bottomed upon notorious fraud? In America, the principle is better understood; it feels the dignity of a right; we have no hereditary orders (its natural enemy) to poison it; and it enjoys the power of exercising its will. The difference in parentage between truth and errour; and in nurture, between fraud and honesty, are both so essential, as to justify expectations from the elective principle, which that principle, modelled by patrician craft, monarchical despo- tism, or paper frauds, does not inspire.

Much contention and ingenuity has arisen out of the questi- on, whether society is natural or factitious. If society h natural, then natural rights may exist in, and be improved and s^ciiretl by a state of society. Payne contends for the natural rights of man ,• Adams for the natural rights of aristocracy. If society is factitious, those who make it, can regulate rights. Society must be composed of, or cre- ated by individuals, without whom, it can neither exist nor act. Society exclusively of individuals, is an ideal being, as metaphysical as the idea of a triangle. If a number of peo- ple should inclose themselves within a triangle, they would hear with great astonishment, that they had lost the power of changing the form of the inclosure ; and that the dead figure of the triangle governed living beings, instead of liv- ing beings who created that figure, governing if. So by the magick of avarice and ambition, the word society is se- vered from a nation, and converted into a metaphysical spectre, auspicious only to the tyrants of society. But the United States have detected the crafty absurdity 5 and Mr. Adams has expressly conceded to nations, a natural right to modify their governments. It is time he attempts to satis- fy this right by the idea of hereditaiy representatives ; al- lowing the existence of the right 01 self government, but attempting to evade its effect.

Thus the doctrine of distinguishing society from the individuals composing it, is ingeniously concealed under the notion of hereditary representation, so as to render the concession, that all societies have a right to modify their governments, nominal and ineffectual. As we have seen the principle of election artfully destroyed, by the herediJary ardors of Rome and England j so here, the. principle of s^ ciety, namely, the right of self government. whilst it is allowed, is also annihilated by the idea of a representation of society by these same hereditary orders. For no sooner are these orders created, than they become the magick representatives of the people, according to Mr. Adams, and use the term society as an incantation, with which to transfer the rights of associated man, to associated orders. Upon the doctrines, that man has no natural rights, but that aristocratical orders, as the progeny of nature, have, is suspended the controversy between the political systems which divide mankind.

Mr. Adams, by allowing that all societies have a natural right to modify their governments, admits that some cannot possess more of this right than others; and that one generation cannot possess a natural right to violate the same natural right of another, by substituting rights of orders for the rights of society. Whenever this violation is submitted to, the natural right of a society to modify its government, acknowledged by Mr. Adams, merges in a factitious right of orders to do so ; and thus this right is defeated, just as election was defeated at Rome and in England.

For Mr. Adams's concession of the right of self government to all societies, attended by his system of orders, is only the admission of a right so momentary and evanescent, as to be lost in the instant of its exercise, and as to subject all generations to the will of one.

Between election, and the conceded right of self government, the connection must be indissoluble, or the concession will be nugatory and deceptions; and, therefore, it is by no means wonderful, that artificial orders, which constitute the most successful mode of destroying the right of self government, should employ every artifice to frustrate the only means of maintaining it; or that Mr. Adams, the champion of these orders, should treat election with a severity, only equalled by the severity with which he has treated republican governments; extracting his character of both from corruptions caused by his own orders. Election does not yet engage two orders of rich and poor in perpetual hostilities in the United States ; but all ranks vote individually, interwoven and commixed; nor is it yet corrupted by commissions in armies, navies or churches, by loans or contracts, or by unequal representation and purchase. These are the corruptions, invented by political orders to destroy the efficacy of election, and these orders are the remedies proposed by Mr. Adams, for the evils of their own invention.

As in England, the national right of self government, is ever seized hy orders ; accordingly Judge Blackstone declares that "the parliament may change the nature of the government, without consulting the people;" because the orders composing it, consider themselves as composing the society, and the people as no longer entitled to the right of modifying their government, allowed by Mr. Adams to every society. Of this allowance, the futility in communion with orders, is thus demonstrated by the practice and principles of Mr. Adams's theory, in the instance of England.

By deducing election from the grace and favour of herediiary chiefs, and by the artifice of compounding society of orders, and not of individuals, the usurpation of a right to modify the government without consulting a nation, is also produced; it is this usurpation, which enslaves societies, under the sanction of society ; thus the orders of Denmark abolished election, and made the monarch despotick; pretending to constitute the society, they usurped the power of modifying the government, and enslaved the society. So acted the orders of Ireland. So acted the orders of England, ill changing the succession of the crown; and in appointing representatives for the people for four years, by a law extending the time of service from three to seven.

It was one effort of the first part of this essay, to prove that aristocracy in every form, was artificial; but if a reader can be found who dissents from what opinion, none will deny that hereditary orders are so. They are an effect of society, as much as hereditary estates in land. Both arise from laws. Society is paramount to law; law, therefore, cannot transfer social or national rights from its creator, society, to its creature, hereditary orders. An exclusive ria:ht to form or alter a government is annexed to society, in every moment of its existence ; and therefore a direct or indirect exercise of it by a government, a combination or an individual, is a badge of usurpation, and a harbinger of des- potism.

This doctrine is admitted by the acknowledgment of Mr. Adams, that hereditary orders are the representatives of the nation ; an acknowledgment, however, artfully bottom- ed upon the theory, that all governments, are the represen- tatives of nations ; and defeated by betraying in practice na- tional rights to these theoretical representatives.

It appears that hereditary orders have uniformly destroy- ed the doctrine of representation, by originating election from erroneous principles ; by corrupting it with treache- rous modifications ; and by fraudulently constituting them- selves into the society ; a power above responsibility. Of all the mischiefs produced by them, experience testifies to none with more constancy, than their successful operations to destroy the efficacy of election. Mr. Adams depends up- on this efficacy to control hereditary orders, whilst experi- ence tells him. that these orders have invariably destroyed the efficacy itself. Yet he builds his theory upon experi- ence. He himself testifies to the vices of election ; yet he relies upon its virtue to correct the vices of hereditary or- ders; he sees the vices of election produced by these orders tliemselves, and he proposes a remedy, in the continuance of the cause. Experience uniformly telis him, that heredita- rv orders, and a fair representation or a real responsibility, have never subsisted togetjier ; and he subjoins to his theo- ry the novel and mystical idea, that hereditary orders are representatives of the nation, which they have never admitted themselves, to reinstate a representation instead of that arising from election, which they corrupt and destroy.

The admonitions of experience cannot be mistaken by deliberation and prudence. They consist on the one hand. in the uniform corruption or destruction of election and representation by hereditary orders; on the other, in a long course of beneficial effects in the United States from election and representation, where there are no such orders. Mr. Adams has viewed the elective system through the first perspective, and shuts his eyes upon the second. From the first he collects its character, and disgusted with vices, reflected from the English system itself, he proposes by Introducing that system, to remedy the elective system of the United States.

Nedham had said "that the people, by representatives successively chosen, were the best guardians of their own liberties."[11] And that "the life of liberty, and the only remedy against self interest, lies in succession of powers and persons."[12] The answer to which, Mr. Adams observes, If this is so, the United States of America have taken the most effectual measures to secure that life and that remedy, in establishing annual elections of their governours. senators and representatives. This will probably be allowed to be as perfect an establishment of a succession of powers and persons, as human laws can make: but in what manner annual elections of governours and senators will operate, remains to be ascertained. It should always be remembered, that this is not the first experiment that was ever made in the world of elections to great offices of state; how they have operated in every great nation, and what has been their end, is very well known. Mankind have universally discovered « hat chance was preferable to a corrupt choice, and have trusted Providence rather than themselves. First magistrates and senators had better be made hereditary at once, than that the people should he universally debauched and bribed, go to loggerheads, and fly to arms regularly every year. Thank heaven! Americans understand casing conventions; and if the time should come, as it is very possible it may, when hereditary descent shall become a less evil than annual fraud and "violence, such a eoiveiition mav still prevent the first ma- " gistrate tVo n baeoinin,:^ absolute, as well as hereditary."* Nedhaai had also said " that it is but reason that the

  • « peo;>lc should see that none be interested in the supreme
  • < a ithority, bat pei'soas oT their own election, and such as
  • ' must in a short time, return again into the same condition

« with thenselves." In answer to which, Mr. Adams ob- serves, t!iat '* the Americans have agreed with this writer <« in t!iis s^nti nent. This hazardous experiment they have

  • « trif'd, and if elecli«ms are soberly made, it may answer

<« very well ; bat iT parties, factions, drunkenness, bribes, « amies and delirium, come in, as then tilways have done " S'iomr or Viler, to embroil and decid« every thing, the

  • ' people must again have recourse to conventions, and find

« a re a»dv. Neither phih'iyphii nor polky has vet discover-

  • ' el any oth'^r cure, tlran by p)'nlim^s;mg the duralion of the
  • ' fir^t ma<;istrate and senators. The evil may be lessened

" and posl^poned^ by elections for longer jieriods of years, " till then come for life ; and if this is not found an ade- «« quate remedy, there will remain no other but to make " the-n herciitar'i. The delicacy or the dread of unpopu- <' laritij. t!iat sho;ild induce any man to conceal this import-

  • • ant trilh from the full view and contemplation of the

« people, wouhl be a weakness, if not a viee.^f

The reader now perceives the necessity of considering election, as operating independently, or under the influence of hereditary orders ; because if it is more vicious in the latter situation than in the former, Mr. Adams's proposal to amend a less vicious elective system, by substituting for it one more so, is undoubtedly precipitate and erroneous. Election has been universally in the supposed vieious state, previously to the experiment of the United States, and front this vicious stvit^ Mr. Vdaus has drawn his inferences. At this moment it exists iii the United States unconntcted, and in England, connected, with hereditary orders ; in the two situations between which a distinction has been attempted.

  • Adams's Def. v. 3, 28?, 283. j Adams's Def. v. o, 296.

The utmost pitch of liis romedy is to exchange our elective and representative vices, for those of England. Election in England, being dei'ived from an erroneous source, and cor- rupted by the artifices of hereditary power, is of course more vicious and less efficient than in America j and being an object of contempt on account of its vices, it attracts but a saiiill shave of national confidence, and forms but an in- considerable obstacle to the tyranny and oppression of mo- narchy and aristocracy; in fact we shall hereafter endea- vour to prove, that it is modified into an instrument for their use. If it was true, therefore, as Mr. Adams asserts, " that " the manner in which annual elections of governours and '• senators will operate in the United States remained to be

  • < ascertained." yet. as the utter corruption of election by

heredKary pover, does not reuiain to be usceitained, nei- ther philosophy nor policy have yet discovei*ed, that a cer- tain and malignanl evil, was ]>rcferable to a possible good. Piiilosophy. imbiassed by affections superseding a love of wisdom, has seldom or never given her suffrage in favour of hereditary power, nor will she shut her eyes upon the elec- tive experiment of the United States, although Mr. Adams in policy is pleased to assert, that it remains to be made. It has been made upon some hundreds of governours, and thousands of senators. Is nothing ascertained? Will an equal number of kings and lords act upon the political thea- tre, witljout ascertaining also the value of the hereditary principle? The quotations place '* corrupt choice" in contrast with •* chauce;" and " debauchery, biibcry and annual civil war," with " hereditary government." The treatise, as- cribes to aristocracy " virtue, wisdom and usefulness," and one of the extracts ascribes to election, the utmost degree of profligacy. Such a mode of reasoning is ficticious, be- cause it suppresses all the shade of the hereditasy principle, and all the light of the elective; and presenting a picture of each, which exchides the most striking features of both^ bj deforming one and embellishing the other, it excessively obstructs our efforts to draw a correct comparison between thW. Yet these fictions really terrified Mr. Adams to such a degree, as to draw from him an ejaculation for the disco- very of conventions, which would enable the Americans to take refuge from the « annual fraud and violence'* of elec- tion, under " heredilary descent;" and invigorated his mind against the " dread of unpopularity," to announce " the im- portant truth," that " iiereditary first magistrates and sena- tors" were the final " remedy" against the vices of the electivs sys(--m. Mr. Adams frequently strikes with such incautious fury 5t his adversary, as to wound himself. It was before re- marked, that the profligacy he ascribes to election, would 'xorrupt his own theory, as well as ours, had it merited his censures ; and new it is very remarkable, that he flies to a «< convention" as a remedy against '< election." Differing ■!^'ith all other politicians, he makes vii tue the principle of hereditary power; vice, of elective power; and jet this ▼ice is his resource, for the creation of this virtue. Again. IMr, Aifams considers a concentration of power i a single body of representatives, as a political eriour of unequalled magnitude ; yet he proposes to collect this Qr;f Ijodv, bv the resourcs, so corrupt in bis opinion, and confides in it to introduce his theory, which he is fascinated to be- lieve, would be an act of the highest publick benefit. A sin- gle body of representatives, says he, is a political monster, ret it has already done great good in America; ^' thank heaven, Americans understand calling conventions ;" and it may, therefore, do one good thing more, that is, destroy all the f'ood things it has hitherto done, and establish " heredi- f ary descent." Thus allowing to the elective principle the utmost perfection, after having sunk all its useful faculties in an invective. But both the one and the other is done for the sake of an hypothesis. The case of conventions will furnish the strongest argu- ments in favour of election, and many hints in relation to the organization of legislative bodies, of which it is probable, a very beneficial use will at some future period be made.

Conventions are creatures of election; of election, made upon the widest scale; they have been so successfully practised in America, as to awaken Mr. Adams's piety ; they have probably prevented, and have never excited civil war; they have justified none of the charges exhibited against election, and have begotten all the political happiness enjoyed in the United States, for nearly the last thirty years. This is an operation of election, through the organ of a single chamber.

Why has this operation been so completely consistent, both in war and peace, in danger and safety, in producing order and happiness? On the contrary, why has the same principle, election, as Mr. Adams proves by a multitude of examples, produced in most cases (excepting the United States} confusion, civil war, riot and crimes? Mr. Adams in commemorating the discovery of conventions, ought to have remarked and explained the reason of these different effects from the same principle.

The solution of the difficulty justifies one ground taken in defence of our elective system. Election, as heretofore practised, was of spurious birth, and corrupted by rivals. Here, privileged orders and hierarchies did not exist to corrupt it, and it drew its origin from a society composed of people, and not of orders. Heretofore election was the martyr of arts and obloquies invented and practised by its enemies; and it only remains for us to determine, whether we will become the bubbles of examples, produced by frauds, of which the ancients were the victims.

The wonderful virtue and chastity of election and representation in the case of conventions, may be owing in a degree, to something different in the constitution of that species of power, from the constitution of an ordinary legislature. The chief differences usually existing are, that members of conventions arc chosen by a greater number of elec tors, for a shorter space, and have no opportunities of acquiring or bestowing publick money or publick offices. To opposite causes, Mr. Adams ascribes the evils incident to a single chamber of representatives; these evils do not appear in conventions, because the causes are absent; a fact presenting a new illustration of our political analysis. As in the case of our governours, power is bestowed, so as to awaken the good and suppress the evil qualities of human nature; so the case of conventions proves the safety and utility of a single house of representatives, organized so as to suppress, and not to solicit, avarice and ambition.

An elective system, therefore, will be either good or had, as it is calculated to suppress or excite the good or evil qualities of mankind: and its nature may be ascertained by applying to it this political analysis contended for in this essay. Election by irritated and inimical clans, arranged into factions, as at Rome ; which places a nation in the hands of a minority, or exposes it to sale, as in England or which exalts representation above responsibility, and enables it to invade or abridge the publick liberty, as in France; is founded in an evil principle, and will excite evil qualities. The cases of Caesar, Cromwell, Bonaparte, and numberless others, are illustrations. Election, which enables a legislature to convey office or wealth to themselves, directly or indirectly, will also convey evil qualities into the bosom of representation. And election, subjected to the arts of an interest distinct from and inimical to the nation, will generate the evils of lying, cheating, bribery, and several others enumerated by Mr. Adams. But election founded in good moral principles, will produce good effects. The cases of conventions and governours are eminent proofs of the correctness of this idea. Conventions have frequently disclosed virtuous sentiments, and seldom or never vicious. But they were not elected by inimical orders or interests, by minorities, or by bargain and sale; the representative was not placed beyond responsibility, or enabled to usurp despotick authority; nor was his avarice or ambition awakened, by making hia election and representation the channel, for bringing office or money to himself. This subject so radi- cally important to the United States, will demand a further consi<leration. Here, I shall only add, that the experiment proiwsed by Mr. Adams, is extremely hazardous; it is not to correct, but to destroy two thirds of our elective system, and to cor* rupt the remaining third by hereditary orders. This is proposed to be effected by election itself, on its widest ground. If the elective and representative system, should be persuaded to destroy two thirds of itself, is it not ques- tionable, wliether the substituted hereditary principle, will be equally ready to submit to annihilation, should the expe- riment be unfortunate? Will a privileged order, once in- vested with power, follow the example of election and re- presentation, by becoming a felo de se? The national re- pentance which succeeds the establishment of orders or mo- nopolies, gains only derision, and an aggravation of the evil; none of the instruments of oppression are ever relin- quished witjiout civil war; and should they be introduced into the United States, we may certainly pronounce, that no other politician will have an opportunity of again congratu- lating this country on the discovery of conventions, until he has seen it drenched in blood. An attempt to persuiule the elective system to yield to the hereditary, is an acknowledg- ment ofits virtue; and the constant refusal of the heredita- ry to hear or suffer reasoning against itself, manifests its vice. Goodness, and not Avickedness, is attempted to be made the victim of scepticism. The recourse to conventions for the introduction of a government, bottomed upon the idea, that aristocracy is na- tural, surrenders the foundation of the whole theory. Is that natural which may or may not be created by a mode both novel and artificial? This mode consists of an expres- sion ol' national will, by representation, and admits the right of national self government to be natural. Is aristocracy, so o!)viously inconsistent with this right, also natural? The reference to election and representation for obtaining national will, in the momentous affair of changing the form of government, concedes, that it can be obtained in no other way. If election and representation exclusively merit national confidence, when the consignment of power is greatest, why are they to be distrusted in inferiour agencies?

"In 1789, »he admiration of Mr. Adams in contemplating the effects of our policy, broke forth with fervour and solemnity, in an inaugural address to the creatures of that policy; and therefore it is probable, that he had relinquished his wish to destroy it by a convention previously expressed. The following extract from that address is not printed at the end of his treatise. I should be destitute of sensibility, if upon my arrival in this city, and presentation to this legislature, and especially to this senate, I could see, without emotion, so many of those characters, of whose virtuous exertions I have so often been a witness—from whose countenances and examples I have ever derived encouragement and animation—whose disinterested friendship has supported me in many intricate conjunctures of publick affairs, at home and abroad: Those celebrated defenders of the liberties of this country, whom menaces could not intimidate, corruption seduce, nor flattery allure. Those intrepid assertors of the rights of mankind, whose philosophy and policy have enlightened the world, in twenty years, more than it was ever before enlightened in many centuries, by ancient schools, or modern universities."

This eulogy is bestowed on our policy, as it had operated previously to the existence of the present general government, under the auspices of election and representation. It would be quite unphilosophical to assert, that Americans were insensible to the influence of intimidation, corruption and flattery; and therefore it must have been owing to our system of govern meat, that its agents were uninfluenced by these vices. This is conceivable, by recollecting that our principle of division prevented an accumulation of power, capable of intimidating; that the system of paper and patronage did not exist to corrupt; and that we had no monarchy or aristocracy, to corrupt election and buy despotism with publick money. It does not weaken the force of these observations to urge, that Mr. Adams chiefly refers in this part of the extract, to (hearts and practices of the English system, in assailing ours. For he thereby debases that, and exalts ours, by allowing one to be a system, lilted for these vicious practices, and the other, iitted to resist them j and he also admits that effects ensued, in the absence of causes propelling to these vices, differing from those which liieir presence produces; of coarse sucli causes were not iuf terwoven with our government. Our own governments, however, were exclusively the evi- dence of the following declaration; *' those intnpid asser-

    • tors of the rights of mankind, whose philosophy and po-

" licy have enlightened the world, in twenty years, move <» than it was ever before enlightened in many centuries, by

    • ancient schools or modern universities." In what did this

modern light, or the previous darkness consist? Will a mixture of the ignorance of many centuries, with this en- lightened policy, so recently invented, obscure, or render it more splendid? In short, why has Mr. Adams, neglecting the wonderful discoveries of this modern philosophy in fa- vour of human rights, arrayed against it a cloud of quota- tions, chiefly collected from the deepest tints of ancient ob- scurity? Was it to exphiin, impress and accelerate a phi- losophy and policy, which had advanced mere rapidly in twenty years fban the pliilosophy and policy comprising his references had in twenty centuries? The old school of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy is at issue with the new school, of modifying government with an aspect to moral qualities, and not to numerical or- ders. Mr. Adams's efforts and praises appear on the side of the new school; his treatise, and his proposal to extin- guish thelight of our policy, so dazzling in 1789, on the side of the old; like the strokes of father and sun taking differ cnt sides in a civil war to save the estate, thouj^h felt by the parties, they balance each other in the controversy. It is necessary to understand thoroughly the ground of the controversy between « the philosophy and policy" of the United States, and of " ancient schools and modern universities," to discover wherein the darkness of the one, and the light of the other, called the old, and the new school, consisted. Tov this purpose, let us divest our minds of all pe!{)lexing modifications of the one, the few and the many; of political terms tortured by construction; and of every analysis hitherto suggested, and endeavour to enlight- en the controversy by considering, whether a government must not be founded in one or more simple elements, capable of ascertaining its nature, with great exactness. These consist, we believe, of fraud, force and reason j the term reason, being considered as conveying an idea of a nation governed by its own will, or of self government. The element of the Roman government Avas first fraud, and then force. The fraud consisted of the use made of superstition, and of the privileges, pillage and usurpations of the nobility. The indignation excited by this element, was artfully ma- naged by Julius and Augustus, to substitute the element of force for that of fraud. The government was called a republick, both before and after its elemental principle had changed; and yet neither of its elemental ptinciples resem- bled the clement of reason, national will or self government. The catalogue of Italian republicks exhibits but one case resembling the Roman, which these little governments w ere frequently attempting to imitate. A variety exists in occa- sional acquisitions of superiority by the people; but these left the government upon its old element, because noble or- ders still existed j or because the division of election was Avanting to prevent tumult and violence; or becau'^e elec- tion conveyed so much power as to induce the ofiicerto practice fraud or force. So long as feudal tenure, supersti- tion and ignorance flourished in England, the clement ofits government was a mixture of fraud and ibree. And here is an instance, similar to which, many might he quoted, of a change in the form, without any in the element of the go- vernment. Executive power, armies and patronage have beaten feudality out of the field, and the fraud of supersti- tion is superseded hy the fraud of paper stock ,• yet the ele- ments of the government are unchanged.

Now if the elements of these governments, are not the elements of ours, then it is inferred, that the element of ours is not that of any government ancient or modern; be- cause none can be adduced, not deeply participating of the same elements, with the governments quoted.

This brings us to the principles of the old and the new school; one founds government in the elements of force and fraud, by always bestowing power, so as to induce it to rest on those elements; the other bestows power, so as to secure its dependence on national will, and compels it to consult national reason. The essential diflTerenee of the principles of these two schools, causes the terms and phrases of the old to perplex ratlier than edify, the disciples of the new; because, when governments are founded on different ele- ments, it is incorrect to reason upon their tlieory or effects, as if there was a similitude between them. A similitude exists between force and fraud, as being both vicious 5 these are proper subjects for comparison; but betsvcen force or fraud, and reason or self government, no similitude exists; because they possess no common quality. The very system of reasoning, therefore, pursued by Mr. Adams throughout his treatise, is erioncous, as being founded in comparison instead of contrast. No inference, which is the result of a comparison between dissimilar objects, can be relied on; whereas, the more dissimilar objects are, the more forcible will every argument be, which results from contrast.

Contrast alone is capable of producing the old and the new political schools, in fair competition; comparison, on the other hand, is the most dangerous weapon, with which the old can avenge its malevolence upon the new, for being "an intrepid asserter of the rights of man." For what can SO completely blast the laurels with which Mr. Adams has himself exiiltingly crowned the American patriots, as the doctrine, that our new principles of policy, are similar to the old ? Let us apply the test of contrast to a few details, and if they will bear it, we may conclude with confidence, that no 3uch ill boding similitude exists. Upon our policy superstition has no influence ; upon the ancient, its impression was powerful. In the first, there arc no hereditary or privileged orders ; in the second, they abounded. By the first, power is made responsible by divi- sion ', in the second, either the use of division was unknown, or it was ineffectually applied. The first is enabled by the art of printing, to use the knowledge of a nation ; the se- cond used its ignorance. Formerly, the oracles of the Pythia, the fiight of birds, the pecking of chickens, and the driving of nails into the eapitol, were the arguments offered by governments to nations ; now, reasoning, and not mira- cle, is used to beget opinion. Then, democracy being galled by the injunes of orders, upon casually breaking her fet- ters, disclosed the fury which oppression inspires; now, the democracy of the United States, if it is one, seeing only compeers, and suffering only the gentle chastening inllieted by herself, has for many years displayed rather the docility of an elephant, than the ferocity of a tiger. Reasoning from contrast, and not from com|jarison, would also have disclosed with greater perspicuity, the dif- ferences between existing governments. Thus it would have unavoidably appeared, that in Euiope, the elements of government continue to be force and fraud. The fraud and force of superstition, were overthrown hy being discovered j wherefore it was necessary to invent a fraud, wider in its inflttence, and a force, physically stronger ; this was done by paper and patronage and by standing armies. The policy of the United States has laboured to prevent the introduction of force by armies, and of fraud by corrup- tion ; and to secure an allegiance of the government to the understandings of the people, and not an allegiance of the people by force or fraud, to the will of the government. Evincing that reason, and not fraud or force, is its clement. Governments, whose elements are fraud or force, will naturally excite the evil qualities of human nature; and those whose element is reason, can only excite its good. And if every government must rely for continuance, either on force or fraud, or on reason; it follows that every go- vernment must be founded in good or in evil moral princi- ples.

To defend the elements of force and fraud, it has been said, <' that man is naturally vicious, and his own worst <* enemy; and that this self-malignity disqualifies him for " self government, and can only be restrained by force or « fraud."

The analysis contended for, admits that human nature is compounded of good and evil qualities, and hence it is not merely allowed, but sti'enuously contended throughout this essay, that government ought to be modelled with a view to the preservation of the good and the control of the evil. All nations have published their concurrence in this opinion, by establishing and enforcing municipal law, for the purpose of restraining private vices; and all (the United States ex- cepted) have hitherto failed to discover a code of political law, calculated to restrain publick vices. By publiek vic«s and political law, I mean, injuries committed by govern- ments against nations, and regulations to prevent or punish them.

As the vices, the virtues, the passions and the interests of mankind are multiplied by civilization, the necessity for multiplying both kinds of law, gradually increases. In an indigent or savage state, few laws, municipal or political, suffice; because few interests exist to awaken our evil propensities. Therefore simple and unlimited forms of government, and few municipal laws, universally aeconspany such a state of society. But whenever society advances in the arts of civilization, and the interests of men are ra'jhi plied by wealth and commepee, the nnniher and complexity of municipal laws must be increased, to meet the case of a new moral character. It is equally necessary to suppress the simple forms of government, which required no res- traints, where there were no temptations; and to invent new political laws, analogous also to this new moral charac- ter, in order to counteract the force of these new tempta- tions. In every state of society, the vices of the individuals who adiuiaister the government, will, in relation to publiek duties, be as great, and probal)ly much greater, than will be the vices of those who do not administer it, in relation to private duties. Solicitations and excitements to avarice and ambi- tion, will be offered to publiek officers by the view of a rich nation, constituting temptations to vice, superior to any which can occur in private life. Therefore, political law should not only keep pace with municipal law, to provide for this new state of society; but the former ought to out- strip the latter in energy, in the same propoi'tion as the vi- olations of publiek duties are likely to outstrip those of pri* vate, by reason of the superiority of the temptation. The effects of this temptation, are seen in the history of most nations, to be exactly graduated by their cause. In a poor nation, the temptation being small, publiek duties are seldom violated; and such violations are more frequent and more wicked, as a nation increases in opulence ,: proving that the api)etite of the individuals who exercise a govern- ment, for gratifications arising from a breach of duty, is within the poAver of a poor nation, and beyond the power of a rich one, to satisfy. The political elements,' force and fraud, are begotten by national opulence, because nations have only provided new municipal laws to control the private vices produced also by this opulence; and have neglected to provide new politi- cal laws against the more injurious publiek vices arising from the same cause. For private vices, they have provid- ed the prison and the gallows; for publiek vices, wealth and power. Can these contradictory remedies for similar evils be both effectual? The United States, beholding this as an erroneous po licy; and despairing of producing good manners, or a re- g'dfd for private duties, by infusing into government the strongest solicitations to disregard publick duties; endea- vour to secure the morality of government, as the best se- ctssity a,2;ainst the licentiousness of the people. They for- bear to excite ambition and avarice by hereditary orders, or sepe rate interests j and provide against both, by election, responsibility and division of power. They exclude thevi- cious moral qualities, fear and superstition, as elements of government j and select for its basis, the most perfect mo-' ral quality of human nature. It is as true, that a government may be vicious, as that a people may be vicious. By all hereditary systems, the people are placed extremely within the power of the go- vernmentj and the government extremely without the poW' er of the people; and a dereliction of the idea of political law, is considered as necessary to the existence of stronger rigoi'ous municipal law. The utmost proposed by such systems is, to submit in despair to the effects of a vicioufe government, for the sake of curbing the vices of the people. But the United States have aimed at a policy, possessing a capacity for regulating pnblick, as well as private duties; considering that government as weak, which can only regu- late the latter; and that as strong, which is able to regu- late both. For this purpose, they are cautious to bestow on each officer and department of government, onjy that portion of power, necessary to fulftl the annexed functions; to make these officers and departments, all dependent upon the nation or a section of it; and to enable the government to enforce tJic laws upon the individuals of the society. A policy ))y vvliich the nation is considered as the executive of poiitieal law, and the avenger of violations of publick duties; and the government as the executive of municipal law, and the avenger of violations of private duties The contrast between this policy and the English, both in energy and perfection, is evident and forcible. One is able to prevent or punish the crimes which governments meditate or commit against nations, and also those committed by individuals ; the other is unable to prevent or punish the first class of crimes, and even to punish the second, except by exciting the first. If the element of a government is force or fraud, it is obvious that the most pernicious class of crimes, namely, those perpetrated against nations by governments, are excited and not prevented or punished, but our policy provides both against the great injuries to which nations are liable from governments, and the small injuries whieli individuals may suffer from each other; conceiving a government to be weak and defective, however it may defend individuals against robbery and murder, which is unable to defend nations against oppression and despotism; and one to be stronger and more perfect, which, instead of exciting great crimes, for the purpose of punishing small, provides against both. A code of political law, too feeble to enforce publick duties, or to restrain publick offences, will form an ambitious and avaricious government; and the vicious moral qualities of such a government, will corrupt the manners of the people ; but an energetick code of political law, by producing political morality, will re-act wholesomely upon private manners by the channels of influence and imitation. A policy which fosters publick, in order to control private vices, is in contrast with one, which enforces publick duties, as an inducement to general good manners. One submits to the justice it dispenses, the other punishes the crimes it creates.

The indissoluble ligament between cause and effect, is evidently on the side of the possibility of training a government by moral principles. That moral causes are able to control the moral nature of man, and that in the form of government, they have universally controlled it, are the sources from whence the reasoning of this essay is deduced. If the surprising regularity with which the characters of governments have been graduated by their principles, and the astonishing force of these principles in corrupting or purifying the characters of magistrates, had only been demonstrated in the persons of American governours and hereditary monarchs, it ought to invigorate the human mind to keep possession of the ground it has already gained, and to push its discoveries still farther into the political terra incognita.

  1. Mr. Adams calls Fibner's notions "absurb and sirjivsriTiors,"—Vol. 1. 7.
  2. Adams's Def. v.?, 18^
  3. Adams's Def. v. 2. 144.
  4. Adams's Def. v. 3, 275.
  5. Adams's Bef. v. 3, 213.
  6. Adams's Def. v. 3, 282.