- Introduction to the Third Edition.
- On Civil Liberty and Self-government.
- Chapter I.: Introductory.
- Chapter II.: Definitions of Liberty.
- Chapter III.: The Meaning of Civil Liberty.
- Chapter IV.: Ancient and Modern Liberty.—Ancient, Medieval, and Modern States.
- Chapter V.: Anglican Liberty.
- Chapter VI.: National Independence—Personal Liberty.
- Chapter VII.: Bail.—Penal Trial.
- Chapter VIII.: High Treason.
- Chapter IX.: Communion.—Locomotion, Emigration.
- Chapter X.: Liberty of Conscience.—Property:—Supremacy of the Law.
- Chapter XI.: Quartering Soldiers.—The Army.
- Chapter XII.: Petition.—Association.
- Chapter XIII.: Publicity.
- Chapter XIV.: Supremacy of the Law.—Taxation.—Division of Power.
- Chapter XV.: Responsible Ministers.—Courts Declaring Laws Unconstitutional.—Representative Government.
- Chapter XVI.: Representative Government, Continued.—Basis of Property.—Direct and Indirect Elections.
- Chapter XVII.: Parliamentary Law and Usage.—The Speaker.—Two Houses.—The Veto.
- Chapter XVIII.: Independence of the Judiciary.—The Law Jus, Common Law.
- Chapter XIX.: Independence of Jus, Self-development of Law, Continued.—Accusatorial and Inquisitorial Trials.—Independence of the Judge.
- Chapter XX.: Independence of Jus, Continued.—Trial By Jury.—The Advocate.
- Chapter XXI.: Self—Government.
- Chapter XXII.: American Liberty.
- Chapter XXIII.: In What Civil Liberty Consists, Proved By Contraries.
- Chapter XXIV.: Gallican Liberty.—Spreading of Liberty.
- Chapter XXV.: The Institution.—Its Definition.—Its Power For Good and Evil.
- Chapter XXVI.: The Institution, Continued.—Institutional Liberty.—Institutional Local Self-government.
- Chapter XXVII.: Effects and Uses of Institutional Self-government.
- Chapter XXVIII.: Dangers and Inconveniences of Institutional Self-government.
- Chapter XXIX.: Advantages of Institutional Government, Farther Considered.
- Chapter XXX.: Institutional Government the Only Government Which Prevents the Growth of Too Much Power.—Liberty, Wealth, and Longevity of States.
- Chapter XXXI.: Insecurity Op Uninstitutional Governments.—Unorganized Inarticulated Popular Power.
- Chapter XXXII.: Imperatorial Sovereignty.
- Chapter XXXIII.: Imperatorial Sovereignty, Continued.—Its Origin and Character Examined.
- Chapter XXXIV.: Centralization.—Influence Of Capital Cities.
- Chapter XXXV.: Vox Populi Vox Dei.
- Appendix I.: A Paper On Elections, Election Statistics, and General Votes of Yes Or No.
- Appendix II.: A Paper On the Abuse of the Pardoning Power.
- Appendix III.: A Paper On Subjects Connected With the Inquisitorial Trial and the Laws of Evidence.
- Appendix IV.: Magna Charta of King John, Fifteenth Day of June, In the Seventeenth Year of the King's Reign, A.d. 1215.
- Appendix V.: The Petition of Right. 1
- Appendix VI.: An Act For the Better Securing the Liberty of the Subject, and For Prevention of Imprisonments Beyond the Seas, Commonly Called “the Habeas Corpus Act.” 1
- Appendix VII.: Bill of Rights, Passed 1 William and Mary, Sess. 2, Ch. 2, 1689.
- Appendix VIII.: A Declaration By the Representatives of the United States of America In Congress Assembled.
- Appendix IX.: Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Between the States.
- Appendix X.: Constitution of the United States of America.
- Appendix XI.: The French Constitution, Adopted and Proclaimed On the Twenty-fourth of June 1793. the First Republican Constitution
- Declarations of the Rights of Man and of Citizens.
- Constitution of the Twenty-fourth of June, 1793.
- Appendix XII.: French Charter of Louis XVIII. And That Adopted In the Year 1830.
- Appendix XIII.: Constitution of the French Republic. Adopted November, 1848.
- Appendix XIV.: The Present Constitution of France.
- Appendix XV.: Report of the French Senatorial Committee On the Petitions to Change the Republic Into an Empire, In November, 1852, 1 and the Senatus-consultum Adopted In Conformity With It.
- Appendix XVI.: Letter of the French Minister of the Interior, Mr. De Morny, Addressed to the Prefects of the Deparments In the Year 1852.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
HIS FORMER PUPILS
IN KIND REMEMBRANCE
BY THE AUTHOR.
THE THIRD EDITION.
The first edition of “Civil Liberty and Self-Government” was published in 1853, when Dr. Lieber was a professor in the University of South Carolina; the second, enlarged by notes and corrected, appeared in 1859, two years after he had accepted a chair in Columbia College, New York. The second edition was exhausted when he died, October 2, 1872; and if he had lived, he would, I think, have prepared a third edition, for the work had come pretty extensively into the hands both of college students and of mature men of literary culture. But the last years of Dr. Lieber's life, after the war, with the duties and studies which it laid upon him, was over, were occupied with other literary work. And so there has been for some time an important gap in the works which can be recommended to the student of political science. The author of this preface was requested by the family of Dr. Lieber to undertake the office of preparing both the “Civil Liberty and Self-Government,” and the “Political Ethics,” for a new edition. The former, as being most in demand, it was thought best to get in readiness for the press first; the other, it is probable, will be given to the public after no very long interval.
The writer of these lines had long been familiar with this work. Soon after its appearance, he wrote a somewhat extended review of it, in which he spoke with plainness, perhaps with undue emphasis, of certain minor inaccuracies in the first edition, which had escaped its author's notice. But the review was the means of bringing him into acquaintance, and afterwards into friendly relations, with Dr. Lieber: perceiving the merits of the work, and its suitableness for the wants of young men in the United States, he was the first, or among the first, to recommend it to students, so that as early as 1854 or 1855 he put it into the hands of his pupils in Yale College. And he has had very good reason to believe that the general effect of the work upon young men has been of the most salutary kind.
The work now appears in all important particulars as the author left it. A few slight corrections have been silently introduced into the text; the notes have received additions where explanations of the text seemed to be required, and where the progress of events threw light on the author's views. One or two notes are put in the place of notes in the last edition, for special reasons, which are indicated in the notes themselves. These changes and additions, in all but few, are denoted by brackets. On the whole, while the work has been carefully examined, the amount of alterations has been very small, and throughout nothing is obtruded on the author.
It would be a grateful task to speak at length here of the services which Dr. Lieber rendered to political science in this country. But we must refer our readers to the charming sketch of his life and character, given by his friend Judge M. Russell Thayer in an address before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He was indeed the founder of this science in this country, in so far as by his method, his fulness of historical illustration, his noble ethical feeling, his sound practical judgment, which was of the English rather than of the German type, he secured readers among the first men of the land, influenced political thought more than any one of his contemporaries in the United States, and made, I think, a lasting impression on many students who were forming themselves for the work of life. Severely scientific he could not be called; he was sometimes a little verbose, and his abundant stores of knowledge and reading were poured profusely out on his readers; but I am not sure that a writer so full of illustration, so transparent in his feelings, and with so little reserve, is not the fittest to leave a genial remembrance and a happy impression in the minds of the largest number of men.
Dr. Lieber's vicissitudes of life were of a kind to cultivate in him practical judgment concerning political matters. Sharing in his early youth in that inspiration of patriotism which drove so many young Germans into the field, and partaking of the toils of the Waterloo campaign, during which, at the battle of Namur, he was wounded; then returning to his native city, Berlin, to fall under the suspicion of the government on account of his connection with the ardent patriot Jahn; next, after his graduation at Jena, making his way into Greece, as a volunteer in the cause of Greek independence; thereupon, disappointed and destitute, taking refuge in Italy, where the historian Niebuhr invited him to act as tutor of his son; then returning into Prussia with promises of protection, which were fulfilled by his imprisonment, and gladly, on his release, going to London, where he supported himself for a year by writing and teaching, he at length, in 1827, found a permanent domicile in the United States. But here for some time he had no fixed dwelling-place. From Boston, where he stayed five years, he removed to New York in 1832, then to Philadelphia in 1833, and then, in 1835, accepted the chair of History and Political Economy in the University of South Carolina. One more transplantation, from this scene of his professional as well as literary labors, brought him, as we have seen, to New York, in 1858, where he ended his days. Thus, resembling the Greek
“Qui multorum hominum mores et vidit et urbes,”
he was enabled to add to the treasures of history with which his education had enriched his mind, the experience of a man versed in life, acquainted with mankind under many forms of society, having the best opportunities to observe governments and political institutions, and stimulated by intercourse with a person like Barthold Niebuhr. It is worth noticing here that his life in the United States was almost equally diversified with his earlier life passed in Europe. Especially he had an opportunity, such as few have had, of seeing life in a State where slavery existed, in a State at the very head of Southern institutions, where a large number of refined men, given to politics, had reduced Southern principles to a doctrine, which they sought to engraft on the Constitution of the country, under the guidance of so accomplished and deep-thinking a statesman as Calhoun.
Dr. Lieber's native traits of mind seem to have been such that he was able readily to assimilate the impressions which a great diversity of institutions made upon him. We are wont to contrast the German mind, deep but not clear, prone to speculation, unpractical, with our practical, clear-sighted, but short-sighted English mind. But Dr. Lieber, while he had a scientific “anlage,” had an eminently practical spirit, capable of gathering from history and experience their lessons, and of reconciling scientific truth with the demands and possibilities of an existing state of things. The science of politics rests on the idea of justice and of rights; but the questions, What is the best possible state? How far can the experience of one state be applied with advantage to another? What securities are needed by a nation against a government? and What power is needed by a government for the highest welfare of the nation?—these and many others are purely practical questions, which must be answered by the experience, the knowledge, the wisdom of thoughtful men, or else abstractionists and political revolutionists will answer them to a nation's ruin.' Dr. Lieber felt that English liberty had been under a remarkable guidance of the divine Ruler of men; that justice, order, stability, freedom, had been reconciled in it in a wonderful way; that its capacity of progress without revolution set it up as a model and guide to the nations; while yet, everywhere, the best men ought to judge, with all the light and candor possible, how far these principles of the Anglican race could be adopted and engrafted on other constitutions. He was thus no German, except in justly estimating the excellent traits of his fatherland: in his political judgments he was more of an Englishman or of a republican than anything else. We wonder, as we become acquainted with him in the writings of his mature life, how there could have been any froth of liberty in his youth which brought suspicion upon him, and can only account for the treatment he received from the police of his native country by that dread of revolution which French movements during a generation had aroused, and which, with unnatural sharpness of sight, saw in the youthful deliverers of their country the foes of kings.
The “Civil Liberty and Self-Government” cannot be read profitably without taking into view the events of 1848 and the new empire of Napoleon III. Through the book there is a contrast, which often appears, between Anglican and Gallican liberty, between checks and guarantees, institutions and diffused power, on the one hand, and a government, on the other, with no checks and no institutions, with a centralized power swallowing up all minor authority in the great leviathan, and calling that a government of the people, because the people gave their consent to it once and forever. Our author watched this French system, no doubt, with intense interest, and when he saw the government of lies and of moral corruption falling under the blows of a vigorous foe, it was not as a Prussian or a German that he rejoiced in it, but as a man, a true American and a Christian. Here was the judgment of events, the rebuke of God. If, together with this high satisfaction in catching glimpses of a divine government, we might attribute some pleasure to our author when he found that history was confirming his theory, that he had almost prophesied in this book, and that the hopes of mankind would be the brighter for what happened in 1870, we could not surely find fault with him.
The value of this work in this country consists chiefly in its corrections of some of our prevalent tendencies. In chapter xxii. the author remarks that, as it appears to him, “while the English incline occasionally too much to the historical element, we, in turn, incline occasionally too much toward abstraction;” and further, “that it is certain that we conceive of the rights of the citizen more in the abstract, and more as attributes of his humanity.” Both of these remarks are undoubtedly true. We are inexperienced and self-confident, with small historical knowledge, and we run into abstractions as the easiest things for the least educated to comprehend, and for demagogues to make the starting-point in their projects and deductions. We make little distinction practically between personal and political rights, so that the right of suffrage seems to belong to the human being as such, although, inconsistently, we withhold it still from women and minors. A citizen without suffrage is hardly conceived of. We are coming, too, to believe in a more liberal construction of the general Constitution, so as to throw larger power into the hands of Congress, and to look to the government for help in difficulty; and this at the very time when the newest and wisest reforms in state constitutions are restricting legislatures in the sphere of their functions. The tendency plainly is towards a more centralized government by a freer interpretation of the United States Constitution. The dangers which menace us from this tendency, and from what may be called democratic abstraction, are met by such a book as this, which teaches that there is no safe liberty but one under checks and guarantees, one which is articulated, one which by institutions of local self-government educates the whole people and moderates the force of administrations, one which sets up the check of state power within certain well-defined limits against United States power, one which draws a broad line between the unorganized masses of men calling themselves the people and the people formed into bodies, “joined together and compacted” by constitutions and institutions.
May this book still lead our young men into the paths of political wisdom, and may the old guarantees and checks, the substance of English liberty, with whatever of good we have received that is peculiar to the American people, have, as years roll on, more and more of our confidence and veneration!