Front Page Titles (by Subject) Extracts from Dr. Priestly's Essay on the first Principles of Government. Second Edition. London, printed for J. Johnson, 1771. - A Treatise Concerning Civil Government in Three Parts
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Extracts from Dr. Priestly’s Essay on the first Principles of Government. Second Edition. London, printed for J. Johnson, 1771. - Josiah Tucker, A Treatise Concerning Civil Government in Three Parts 
A Treatise Concerning Civil Government in Three Parts (London: T. Cadell, 1781).
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Extracts from Dr.Priestly’sEssay on the first Principles of Government. Second Edition. London, printed for J. Johnson, 1771.
Of the first Principles of Government, and the different Kinds of Liberty.
“Page 6. To begin with first Principles, we must for the Sake of gaining clear Ideas on the Subject, do what almost all political Writers have done before us, that is, We must suppose a Number of People existing, who experience the Inconvenience of living independent and unconnected: Who are exposed without Redress, to Insults and Wrongs of every Kind, and are too weak to procure to themselves many of the Advantages, which they are sensible might easily be compassed by united Strength. These People, if they would engage the Protection of the whole Body, and join their Forces in Enterprizes and Undertakings calculated for their common Good, must voluntarily resign some Part of their natural Liberty, and submit their Conduct to the Direction of the Community: For without these Concessions, such an Alliance, attended with such Advantages, could not be formed.
“Were these People few in Number and living within a small Distance of one another, it might be casy for them to assemble upon every Occasion, in which the whole Body was concerned; and every thing might be determined by the Votes of the Majority. ☞ Provided they had previously agreed that the Votes of a Majority should be decisive. But were the Society numerous, their Habitations remote, and the Occasions on which the whole Body must interpose frequent, it would be absolutely impossible that all the Members of the State should assemble, or give their Attention to public Business. In this Case, though, with Rousseau,it being a giving up of their Liberty, there must be Deputies or Public Officers appointed to act in the Name of the whole Body: And in a State of very great Extent, where all the People could never be assembled, the whole Power of the Community must necessarily, and almost irreversibly, be lodged in the Hands of these Deputies. In England, the King, the hereditary Lords, and the Electors of the House of Commons are these standing Deputies: And the Members of the House of Commons are again the temporary Deputies of this last Order of the State.
Of Political Liberty.
“11. In Countries, where every Member of the Society enjoys an equal Power of arriving at the supreme Offices, and consequently of directing the Strength and the Sentiments of the whole Community, there is a State of the most perfect political Liberty. On the other Hand, in Countries where a Man is, by his Birth or Fortune, excluded from these Offices, or from a Power of voting for proper Persons to fill them; that Man, whatever be the Form of the Government, or whatever Civil Liberty, or Power over his own Actions he may have, has no Power over those of another; he has no Share in the Government, and therefore has no political Liberty at all. Nay his own Conduct, as far as the Society does intersere, is, in all Cases, directed by others.
“It may be said, that no Society on Earth was ever formed in the Manner represented above. I answer, it is true; because all Governments whatever have been, in some Measure, compulsory, tyrannical, and oppressive in their Origin. But the Method I have described must be allowed to be the only equitable and fair Method of forming a Society. And since every Man retains, and can never be deprived of, his natural Right (founded on a Regard to the general Good) of relieving himself from all Oppression, that is, ☞ from every Thing that has been imposed upon him without his own Consent, this must be the only true and proper Foundation of all the Governments subsisting in the World, and that to which the People who compose them ☞ have an unalienable Right to bring them back.
“Page 40. The Sum of what hath been advanced upon this Head, is a Maxim, than which nothing is more true, that every Government, in its original Principles, and antecedent to its present Form, is an equal Republic; and consequently, that every Man, when he comes to be sensible of his natural Rights, and to feel his own Importance, will consider himself as fully equal to any other Person whatever. The Consideration of Riches and Power, however acquired, must be entirely set aside, when we come to these first Principles. The very Idea of Property, or Right of any Kind, is founded upon a Regard to the general Good of the Society, under whose Protection it is enjoyed; and nothing is properly a Man’s own, but what general Rules, which have for their Object the Good of the whole, give to him. To whomsoever the Society delegates its Power, it is delegated to them for the more easy Management of public Affairs, and in order to make the more effectual Provision for the Happiness of the whole. Whosoever enjoys Property, or Riches in the State, enjoys them for the Good of the State, as well as for himself: And whenever those Powers, Riches, or Rights of any Kind are abused to the Injury of the whole, that awful and ultimate Tribunal, in which every Citizen hath an equal Voice, may demand the Resignation of them: And in Circumstances, where regular Commissions from this abused Public cannot be had. every Man, who has Power, and who is actuated with the Sentiments of the Public, may assume a public Character, and bravely redress public Wrongs. In such dismal and critical Circumstances, the stifled Voice of an oppressed Country is a loud Call upon every Man, possessed with a Spirit of Patriotism, to exert himself. And whenever that Voice shall be at Liberty, it will ratify and applaud the Action, which it could not formally authorise.