In my former reflections on this head, I urged many considerations to show that there is less reason now than ever to expect deliverance by means of remonstrance and entreaty. And, indeed, if we consider the vindictive spirit diffused through the words and actions of our oppressors, we must be convinced of this. It impeaches the understandings of the ministry and the Parliament in the grossest manner, to suppose they have renewed their attempts, and taken such violent methods to carry them into execution, merely to have the pleasure of undoing the whole, in condescension to our prayers and complaints. The taxation of America is an object too near at heart to be resigned unless from necessity; and if they would not have abandoned the principle, there could be no reason to expect they would have desisted from the exercise of it in the present instance. For the duty on tea is in itself very trifling; and, since that is opposed, they could not hope to vary the mode in any way that would be less offensive and less obnoxious to opposition.
When a man grows warm he has a confounded itch for swearing. I have been going, above twenty times, to rap out an oath, By but I have checked myself with the reflection, that it is rather to treat Him that made us, with so much freedom.
How did the federalists win ratification of the Constitution?
It happened that the charter of Massachusetts was vacated by a decision in Chancery, and a new one was conferred by The agents for that colony did not accept it till they had first consulted the most judicious civilians and politicians upon the contents of it, and then drew up an instrument in which they assigned the reasons of their acceptance. The following extract will serve to show their sense of it: “The colony,” say they, “is now made a province; and the General Court has, with the King’s approbation, as much power in New England as the King and Parliament have in England. They have all English privileges and liberties, and can be touched by and by but of their own making. All the liberties of their religion are for ever secured.”
1, Biographical Note" class="author" title="bio"BIO
History is full of examples where, in contests for liberty, a jealousy of power has either defeated the attempts to recover or preserve it, in the first instance, or has afterward subverted it by clogging government with too great precautions for its felicity, or by leaving too wide a door for sedition and popular licentiousness. In a government framed for durable liberty, not less regard must be paid to giving the magistrate a proper degree of authority to make and execute the laws with rigor, than to guard against encroachments upon the rights of the community. As too much power leads to despotism, too little leads to anarchy, and both, eventually, to the ruin of the people. These are maxims well known, but never sufficiently attended to, in adjusting the frames of governments. Some momentary interest or passion is sure to give a wrong bias, and pervert the most favorable opportunities.
in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.
In the first stages of the controversy, it was excusable to err. Good intentions, rather than great skill, were to have been expected from us. But we have now had sufficient time for reflection, and experience as ample as unfortunate, to rectify our errors. To persist in them becomes disgraceful, and even criminal, and belies that character of good sense, and a quick discernment of our interests, which, in spite of our mistakes, we have been hitherto allowed. It will prove that our sagacity is limited to interests of inferior moment, and that we are incapable of those enlightened and liberal views necessary to make us a great and a flourishing people.
The text is in the public domain.
No friend to order or to rational liberty can read without pain and disgust the history of the Commonwealths of Greece. Generally speaking, they were a constant scene of the alternate tyranny of one part of the people over the other, or of a few usurping demagogues over the whole. Most of them had been originally governed by kings, whose despotism (the natural disease of monarchy) had obliged their subjects to murder, expel, depose, or reduce them to a nominal existence, and institute popular governments. In these governments, that of Sparta excepted, the jealousy of power hindered the people from trusting out of their own hands a competent authority to maintain the repose and stability of the Commonwealth; whence originated the frequent revolutions and civil broils with which they were distracted. This, and the want of a solid federal union to restrain the ambition and rivalship of the different cities, after a rapid succession of bloody wars, ended in their total loss of liberty, and subjugation to foreign powers.