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by the negligence and tyranny of their governments responsible to the people, rulers. They wished be able power was shifted, but not rendered legitimately to strive for this better responsible, for the power then vested condition, even against their rulers, and in the people instead of the magistrate ; to call their rulers to an account for but who was there to call the people to not aiding them, especially for throwing an account, should they chance to abuse impediments in their way. What the their power? To whatsoever we renfriends of the people really wanted, der the administrators of government then, was to establish the Responsibility responsible, unless power be restricted, of Power, not to God only, but, so to there is always the possibility of its speak, to man also. The Responsibility being abused, -we may say, the certo God alone, in the actual state of tainty that tyranny, oppression, corrupthings, since rulers had ceased to fear tion, and political death, will sooner or God, or to believe in his providence, later find their way into the state. was as good as no responsibility at all, Power has always a tendency to enand left to the millions, able to endure large itself, and will always run into their oppressions no longer, no hope of abuse, wherever it may be lodged, if redress. In this case there was no not tied up so that it cannot. This is effectual remedy but in asserting the the fact that the advocates of the peosovereignty of the people.
ple, in demanding the Responsibility of “But the people,” say the advocates power, overlooked, and therefore failed
" when did they become to secure the end they had in view, for sovereign,—they who have rarely ex- which they had so strenuously asserted ercised any political power, or consti- the sovereignty of the people, and the tuted even an estate in the empire ; origin of government in compact. Yet they whom government is instituted to it was not the sovereignty of the people govern ?”
nor the doctrine of compact they cared • They were the original source of for, but some legitimate ground of oppower. They were originally free and position to the Tory Theory, and on equal, and no man had a right to control which social amelioration, freedom and them; but for their mutual protection well-being, could be contended for and and benefit, they chose to come together secured. This ground we, too, want, into civil society, and to institute civil and will never consent to abandon ; but government; to clothe some among we find it not where the friends of them with authority, the rest promising Liberty and well-being in the two preobedience. From the compact formed ceding centuries found it. Where we by the people, and which constitutes find it, will hereafter appear. and expresses the powers and the ends Furthermore, the advocates of the of the body politic, derives government doctrine we have been considering with all its legitimate authority. The seem to me to deceive themselves in people have not then become sovereign, believing that they themselves, in their ihey always were sovereign, always own minds, place the origin of Governwere that to which the constituted au ment in compact. They do no such thorities were accountable."
thing. They always, consciously or Here it is seen that the doctrine of unconsciously, assume the state already Social Compact met precisely the doc- as existing, and possessing all the rights trine it was desirable to overthrow, and of sovereignty. When they speak of established the authority of the people the people assembling in convention, over their rulers, and their right to seek they assuredly have in mind a particular a redress of grievances, if need were, people, that is to say, a particular naeven against the constituted authorities, tion, or the inhabitants of some parfor they were paramount to those au ticular or specified territory, with its thorities.
bounds marked and determined. It is, The motive was good, but the friends after all, not a mass of individuals, of the people made one serious mis- taken at random, but this particular take: they demanded the Responsibility people, nation, already existing as a of power, when they should have de- distinct, and, we may say, a sovereign manded the Limitation of power. community, that assembles in convenPower is not and cannot be responsible ; tion, and forms the compact. To talk for so far forth as responsible it is not of this people as having no government power, but a trust. In making the would be nonsense. It is a sovereignty,
and has in itself, undoubtedly, the right Island, that had, according to the Sufto establish such a frame of govern- frage Party, the inherent right to come ment, and such a mode of administra- together in Convention and frame and tion as it may judge proper ; but to say ordain a Constitution. The advocates that this people meets together in con of the People's Constitution asked as vention, and by solemn compact creates the necessary condition of giving legiticivil society, or constitutes itself a body macy to that Constitution, the formal politic, is to say that it meets to make assent of a majority of the white adult itself what it already is and assumes male population of Rhode Island. But itself to be. Evidently, then, as it can
what see we in all this? We see that be really only of such or such a people it is assumed, prior to the formation of that we can say it creates its govern- the Constitution, and independent of ment in convention assembled, the ad- the Charter, that there is a veritable vocates of the origin of government in people of Rhode Island, having the compact do virtually assign government right to institute a form of government some other origin. Even in their own which shall be supreme over all the view, would they analyze it, the sove- inhabitants of the territory recognized reignty resides not so much in the under_the Charter as Rhode Island compact as in territory, and, so to and Providence Plantations. The speak, nationality.
thought with which these Suffrage men To illustrate my meaning, I will take proceed, evidently is this : The mathe cases of Ireland and of Rhode jority of the inhabitants of a given Island. Ireland is the land of the Irish. territory have the right to determine I suppose the advocates of the origin what form of government shall prevail of government in compact would agree in that territory, and to what civil rule with me, that the Irish have a right, if the whole number of its inhabitants they choose, to be independent of Eng- shall be subjected.
Now, suppose land ; and in case they should assert there never had been any civil or poand maintain successfully their inde- litical Rhode Island ; suppose that the pendence, would have a right to esta- inhabitants of the territory in question blish a frame of government for them were in the alleged state of nature, and selves. But are we not, in all this, the suffrage men threw themselves speaking of the Irish as a distinct race really back on the people in their prifrom the English, as a peculiar people, mary capacity, that is, as free, indehaving in reality, though subjected to pendent, sovereign individuals, who the foreigner, in its kindred blood, a could in this case have spoken of the nationality of its own? The Irish are people of Rhode Island ?' Who could a people, a community, and therefore have said the individuals living within it is that we can conceive of their right certain boundaries, form a distinct to form a social compact, and their community, and the majority of these ability to do it. If the Irish should have a right to govern the whole ? In gain their independence, and should the case we suppose, why would not call a convention to devise a frame of individuals living in Massachusetts or civil government suitable for them, Connecticut have had the same right should we not hold that England and to be represented in the People's Conother nations would have no right to vention, as those who lived within the be represented in it, and regard it as geographical limits of Rhode Island ? an outrage upon the Irish, if they should But what makes Rhode Island in the send delegates to it? Why? Simply supposed state of Nature ? Whence, because we think of the Irish as a in point of fact, does Rhode Island distinct, independent people, having the derive its existence ? Evidently Rhode sovereign right to dispose of its own Island is in its civil polity, or in its terriinternal concerns. Now, shall we tory. The suffrage men could not contend that a people of whom we can have admitted the first, for they as. say this, is not already a civil society, sumed the existence of Rhode Island a body politic? Whence did it become independent of the polity, if one may so? Not by compact; for that, by the so speak. Of course, then, the sovevery terms of the supposition, is not reignty they recognized they must have yet formed. Whence, then ?
regarded as an incident of territory ; Take the case of Rhode Island. and so they were in fact basing their They were the people of Rhode own proceedings on the very principle
against which they were contending! be, again an Emperor or Ruler of They would supersede the existing many kings or nations. Whether the government, because it made freemen patriarchal was the earliest form of of none but landholders; and they government or not, is a matter of some would give to territory the right of doubt, though we are inclined so to constituting a people, a body politic, a regard it; but whether so or not, is sovereign community. These remarks not material to our present purpose, show that the conception of a people for we are seeking not the origin of existing as a distinct, peculiar people, this or that form of government, but having in the similarity of its manners, government itself. The authority of customs, the identity of its origin and the father over his children is already unity of its life, a nationality of its government. Whence the origin and own, or inhabiting a specific territory, ground of this authority ? Whence politically and geographically deter- the right of the father to govern his mined, is always presupposed by the children? And by what right does advocates of the origin of government the authority of the father over his in compact, as the essential condition children, come to extend to those who, of the conception of the people's com- though his kindred, are not begotten of ing together in Convention, to ordain a his body? frame of government for their mutual The authority of the father is convenience and benefit. The whole founded, we are told, in natural law, and sum and substance of the doctrine, grows out of the necessity of the case. when reduced to its practical elements, I understand very little of what men is this : each nation has the right to mean by natural law. Natural Law institute and administer its own form of for me, means either one of two government, and the proper method is things: 1. What I am naturally imfor it to assemble by delegates in Con- pelled, or driven by the impulses of vention, and draw up what shall be the my nature to seek; or 2. That which is
fundamental law of the land, namely, founded in the Original Nature or or, the Constitution. All this may be true. der of things as God hath created and
But let not this be called going back to arranged them. In the first sense, a the origin of government. This would natural law must sometimes be resisted; give me the origin only of some par- my inclinations must be controlled, and ticular form or mode of administering my thoughts, feelings, passions, ingovernment, not of government itself
. stincts, propensities, subordinated and I am not told the origin of government subjected to the law of God under till I am told whence this nation derives which I am placed. In this sense, to its national life, and its right to institute say that the authority of the father is and administer government for itself. founded in a law of Nature, is not say
ing that it is therefore legitimate.
To 2. We have lingered so long on the say that it is founded in the law of Theory which derives government nature, in the second sense, is on the from a primitive pact, that we have one hand begging the question by aslittle time and less space, to examine suming the very point to be proved, the other three Theories we have and on the other, is resolving Nature enumerated. Yet we must not pass into the appointment of God, and them over without a few remarks on therefore identifying the third or patrieach. We take them in the reverse archal theory with the first, or that of order from that in which they stand on Divine Righi. If we say the authority our list. The third theory we have of the father grows out of the necesmentioned, is known as the PATRIARCH- sity of the case, then we originate AL. Its advocates derive the State government in necessity. Necessity from the Tribe, and the Tribe from the to a Christian can mean only the Will Family. The primitive government, of God; for the ground of all things is the foundation of all government, is that not with Christians the Invincible Newhich the father exercises over the cessity of Heathendom, but Infinite child. This enlarged, the father of Freedom. This again would leave us the family becomes the Chief of the as the ground of the right of the clan or tribe ; from the chief of the father to govern his child, only the tribe he becomes the King or the will of God. We apprehend that Ruler of the nation ; from this, it may people would be wiser would they talk
VOL, XIII. —NO. LXII. 10
less about what is, or is not commanded are both in the main true and worthy by Nature. Nature never yet fur- to be accepted. Government does not nished a uniform standard for anything, originate in spontaneity alone, nor in the nor commanded the same thing to any outward ordinance of God alone ; but two individuals of any race. In no it must respond to man's nature, to an sense, then, in which the law of Nature inherent and essential want of humaniis distinguishable from a law of God, ty, or there could be no reason for its could even the fact that the authority existence; nay, it could have no hold of the father over the child originates on man, and therefore could not be at in a law of Nature, legitimate that au- all; and it must have in it a Divine thority. If, then, we could resolve all element, and to some extent be an exgovernments into the patriarchal, and pression of the will of God, or it would deduce all authority from the parental, have no legitimacy, no right to comwe should still have the same question mand, -no right to our allegiance, to to ask, and the same problems to solve our loyalty. in relation to the origin and ground of But, after all, there is no occasion to this parental authority, that we have in seek the historical origin of governrelation to the origin and ground of ment. Most likely the historical origin Government in general.
of government is no longer ascertainBut how from a man's right to govern able. The more we study into the his own children will you deduce his past, the more do we discover there to right to govern his wife, and those who impress us with a sense of our ignoare not his children? The conjugal rance, and to confound our philosophies. relation has never been held to be one There was a time when the learned of perfect equality; the man is the had their snug little theories of the head of the woman, the lord. He Universe, according to which all quespromises love, protection, fidelity ; but tions were easily answerable and anthe woman love, fidelity, obedience. swered. A little study, and we were Whence this obligation to obey on the acquainted with all matters, and could part of the woman rather than on the judge of all events from the creation to part of the man ? his assuredly is the present. Indeed, saving one or not deduced from that alleged law of two events, nothing prior to the eight-nature, which commands the child to eenth century had ever occurred worth obey the parent. Whence then? troubling one's head about. But we Whence, again, the logic by which I begin to feel that the past was not all am able, from my right to govern my a blank. What most astonishes us is, child, to conclude to my right to govern the further back we go, the higher the another man's child, and not only the antiquity to which we attain, the more child, but the man himself? If my perfect are the monuments we meet. right of chieftainship grow out of my Under the relation of Art, the oldest of right as a father, why has not every the pyramids is the most perfect. The father in the tribe the same right to be oldest books extant contain the proits chief? This question alone shows foundest philosophy, and indicate the that it is impossible to deduce the State widest and most varied experience of from the Family. I do not regard the life. Each generation, so to speak, Family as the germ of the State. It seems to dilute the life of its predecescontains elements which are not in the sor. Nothing is new under the sun. State, and wants elements, without The highest antiquity indicates a highwhich the State could neither be con We lose all dates and places, and stituted nor preserved. Both, in my no longer know where to begin, or view, are primary institutions, and where to leave off. Vain is it then for neither is secondary; certainly neither us to attempt to fix historically the oriis derivable from the other. Both gin of government. Historically speakare necessary, but they rest on differ- ing, government has no origin. Men, ent bases, and exist for widely different, wherever we find them, live in society, though not hostile ends.
and society without government has 3. The other two theories on our never been known, is not even conlist concerning the origin of govern- ceivable. How did society originate? ment, namely, that of the Spontaneous How did language originate ? Yet Development of Nature, and that of language is essential to our conception Divine Ordination, rightly understood, of man, and therefore man, as soon as
he existed, must have had language; analogous to that by which the life of so must society be regarded as coeval the race itself is so transmitted. with the individual. Man out of so But we leave the development of this ciety is a solecism; is not man. The thought, as well as the clear and distrue view to be taken is to regard gov- tinct statement of the philosophical ernment as never beginning, never end- origin and ground of government, and ing, and considering its legitimacy as the mode in whi
government should transmitted from generation to genera- be organized, for a future commution, and from place to place, by a law nication.
One after one the stars have risen and set,
empty of all joy