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CHAPTER VI: Of the origine of civil society, its constitution and qualities, or properties. - Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, A Methodical System of Universal Law: Or, the Laws of Nature and Nations 
A Methodical System of Universal Law: Or, the Laws of Nature and Nations, with Supplements and a Discourse by George Turnbull. Translated from the Latin by George Turnbull, edited with an Introduction by Thomas Albert and Peter Schröder (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008).
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Of the origine of civil society, its constitution and qualities, or properties.
The civil state has been agreeable to almost every nation.Tho’, in the societies we have described, men might have lived very comfortably; yet some reason hath prevailed upon men to form themselves into those larger societies, which we call states or republics, and to prefer, almost by universal consent, the civil to the natural state; there is almost no nation so barbarous, in which we do not find some semblance of a civil state or republic.*
Whether it was by indigence of necessaries they were engaged to choose a civil state.Tho’ many, in their enquiries concerning the origine of civil society, have thought that men were compelled to it by the want of several necessaries (Plato de repub. l. 2.); yet this is the less probable; first, Because we have an account of something like civil society in Genesis iv. 17. when the world was not so populous as that there could be any want of necessaries. And next, because nothing hinders commerce from taking place where there is no civil government (§10); and, in fine, because there has been a much greater indigence of all things, since, civil government being established, luxury and wantonness began to spread and reign among mankind.*
If on the account of elegance and politeness.Again, it can hardly be imagined that elegance and politeness were the motives which induced men, in the primitive times of frugality, to prefer a civil to a natural state. For besides that, what is called elegance, is really vanity, and what is called politeness of manners, is truly but an affected complaisance and flattery (§11);* there is nothing to hinder men, in a state of nature, from improving their reason, and refining or polishing their manners. Nay, the examples of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who lived by themselves with their segregate families, and had not entred into civil society, sufficiently shew us, that men, living in a state of nature, may be quite free from all barbarity, and very decent and polite.
If for the security of justice.Equally groundless are other reasons for which men are imagined to have coalited into republics or civil states. For as to what some say of justice, that civil society was formed for the sake of it, (as Hesiod. Theog. v. 87),1 and others of interest, as if it had been done on that account, (as Aristotle, Ethic. 8. 11.)2 and what others say, of the instigation of nature, (as the same Aristotle, l. 1. & 2.)––All these reasons, we think, are of such a nature, that they might have contributed somewhat towards it, but could not have been the sole motives which determined men to commute a state of liberty and equality for a state of civil government and subjection.*
The real cause which moved men to form large civil societies was the fear of wicked profligate men.Wherefore, when the matter is fully and accurately considered, they appear to have hit upon the true cause, who maintain that the strength and violence of wicked men gave rise to the formation of civil states. For all men being equal and free in a state of nature (§5 and 6); but such being the temper and disposition of profligate men, that they have an insatiable lust of power and wealth; of robbing others of their possessions and rights, and bringing them under their yoke, it could not but happen that several heads of families, of this temper and genius, would unite their strength in order to subject others to them. And since a large society cannot but be unequal and rectoreal (§17), the consequence is, that such a band of robbers would choose a leader to themselves, and prescribe a certain form of government to him, according to which he was to rule and command them; and hence the origine of civil society or political states,* which are nothing else but a multitude of people united under a common head, upon certain conditions for their mutual security, and dependent on, or subjected to no other mortal.
This obliged the innocent to unite together in order to repel force by force.The justest heads of families could not find any other remedy against such consociations, but to repel force by force (§9). And a few not being sufficient to accomplish that end, necessity, and the malice of wicked men, forced other men to coalesce into large bodies; the consequence from which is, that just and good heads of families were obliged, through fear of violent and wicked men, to unite their forces, and joining together under a common head on certain conditions, to form a civil society or political state † (§103); whence we infer, that there would have been no republics in a state of integrity. See Becman. meditat. pol. 11. 5;3 and that it is trifling to obtrude upon us a state of innocence as the first principle of the law of nature and nations (l. 1. §74).
The double origine of civil society.Civil society is therefore of a two-fold origine; some were formed to oppress the innocent, and for violence; others were formed to repel force by force, and for common self-defence. The end of the former is most unjust; that of the latter just. Wherefore the former is rather a gang of robbers than a society; the latter is a lawful republic. But because things which have an unlawful beginning may be afterwards amended when the error is found out; and, on the contrary, things which had a very laudable commencement are often perverted; a band of thieves and robbers, having laid aside their oppression and violence, may become an excellent commonwealth; and a lawful republic, forsaking their humanity, may degenerate into a tribe of ruffians; yet in both the same end, viz. the security of the members is the end of consociation.*
The end of civil society is the security of its members.Since the common security of the members is the end of all civil societies (§105); but it is from the end of a society that we must judge of the means, and of the rights and duties of its members (§14); the consequence is, that they who unite into society, ought to do all, without which the common end, viz. security, cannot be obtained. Now, since the violence which is obstructive of public security, consists in the united force of wicked men (§103), it is necessary that others, who would secure themselves against such violence, should unite their strength; and therefore it is proper, that as many men should form themselves into a more large and compounded society, as may, with probability, be sufficient to repel, by just force, the unjust violence of injurious neighbours.*
A republic consists in a multitude of men.A state or republic does not consist, as Nicias says in Thucydides, 7. 14.* and Themistocles in Justin. hist. 2. 12. in a territory, in towns, in walls, in houses, but in men; nor is it requisite to constitute a civil state, that whole families, composed of persons of both sexes, be united; but it is sufficient, if many conjoin their forces and minds, so as to be able to conquer or outwit their enemies; though it cannot be denied, that a civil state would be but of one age, if not composed of such families, but of single persons, however great its numbers might be, Florus 1. 1.*
They must consent in the end and the means.Since a republic consists in the union of such a number, whose united force is not unequal to that of their neighbours (§105); but there can be no society without consent (§13); the consequence is, that civil states or republics are constituted by an intervening contract, whether some men voluntarily coalite into society, or whether their consent was at first extorted by violence, or whether some men acceded in either of these ways to a republic already formed; or whether, in fine, the descendants of such citizens are presumed, from their having been bred up in a society, as some time to succeed to their progenitors (§16) in it, to have consented to continue members of it.†
The first pact of those who voluntarily constitute a republic.Hence it is plain, that civil states, like other societies, are constituted or augmented either by voluntary consent, or by forced consent (§15). In the former case, the first and principal pact must be that by which all consent to constitute the same state or republic. And since every pact ought to be free, and may be made upon conditions, it is self-evident that he who does not consent, or whose terms are not agreed to, remains without that society, and is his own master.*
Their subsequent resolution.But since members of the same society must consent to the same end and means (§13), which consent cannot be expected in a great multitude, unless the society be rectoreal; therefore some governing power must be instituted, by the will of which the whole people is to be ruled (§18); and the consequence is, that this multitude ought to determine what the model of government ought to be;* and tho’ they be not obliged to stand to the resolutions of the rest, who consented to the future republic, only upon condition that a certain form of government in it should be agreed to, if another form please the people (§109); yet those who entred into the first pact without any conditions, ought to submit to the plurality of suffrages.
Another pact.A form of government being agreed upon, nothing remains to constitute a perfect civil society, but to nominate the person or persons a people would have to rule over them,† and to prescribe the form of government agreed upon in the former pact, to him or them; which prescription will then become, properly speaking, the fundamental law of the republic, (since things settled by pacts are called laws); and therefore it binds the governors, whether one or many, no less than the subjects; so that nothing is right that is done contrary to this primary law, or essential constitution of the society.
Whether the same pacts take place when society is constituted by persons under force.Thus does society arise as often as a people voluntarily forms it. But so often as a people, brought under dominion by a more powerful one, coalesces into the same republic with their conquerors, the first pact is undoubtedly a consent to form one common republic with them; because, if they did not consent, they would not accept the terms offered by their conquerors, but rather perish than put themselves under such a yoke. But such a people will hardly be consulted or hearkened to with regard to the form of government, nor in the choice of rulers, but to them will be left little more than the glory of obeying.*
So if the conqueror forces a new form of government upon the conquered.It sometimes happens, that a new form of government is obtruded upon a conquered people;* and the victorious people stipulates to themselves, that this new republic shall pay homage to them, as joined to their republic by an unequal covenant. In which case, the nature of the thing shews us, that the pacts we have described above (§109, 111), and the decree about a form of government, (§110), cannot take place; but the conquered people consents to all, not voluntarily, but by force.
All the members of a civil state ought to submit their wills to the supreme powers in it.But as all societies are understood to have one understanding and one will (§19); so the same must be said of a state or republic thus constituted. Now, as many associates cannot agree upon the same end and means (§17), unless that business be committed to some one, or some certain number; so in a state the same must be done.† But to do this, is the same as to submit one’s will to that of another; whence it is plain, that all the members of a republic ought to submit their wills to one or more; and therefore that he or they govern to whom the rest have submitted their will.
Hence arise either monarchical, aristocratical or democratical states.Hence it follows, that there can be no more but three regular forms of republics or civil states. For subjects must either submit their wills to one, many, or to the whole multitude. Now, when they submit their wills to the will of one physical person, hence arises monarchy, a kingdom or principality.* [fn517] But if to the will or decrees of many, thence arises aristocracy. And if to the whole people, that is, to what is decreed by the common suffrage of the whole people, then the form of government is popular, and called a democracy.
To which are opposites, tyranny, oligarchy, and anarchy.But since whether one, many, or all govern, none presides over the republic by any other right but this, that the rest of the citizens have submitted their wills to such a governor or governors (§114); the consequence is, that those command unjustly; i.e. without right, to whom the members of a state have not submitted their will. Wherefore, if one such person command, monarchy becomes tyranny; if, instead of the senate of the nobles, a few usurp the supreme command, aristocracy degenerates into oligarchy; and if, instead of the whole people, a certain rabble, consisting of the very dregs of the people, manage all things at their pleasure, democracy degenerates into ochlocracy.* These vitious forms of government being very like to the regular ones, the latter easily degenerate into the former, as Polybius justly observes, and experience has abundantly confirmed. Polyb. hist. 6. 1.
What are mixed republics.Now, since these regular forms of government may be perverted into as many opposite vitious forms (§116), it is not to be wondered at, that there are very few states to be found which have chosen any one of these three, but that many have compounded all these forms into one,† or have so mingled two of them together, as that the one form might be a balance or check on the other. And since names are generally derived from the better or more eminent part; hence various kinds of kingdoms, aristocracies and democracies could not but arise, which it very little concerns us, whether they be called mixt or irregular republics. See Hert. element. prud. civ. 1. 2. 8. p. 2320 & seq.
What are systems of republics.Again, since whole societies may coalesce into a larger body (§17); hence it follows, that many republics may, each preserving its form of govern-ment and its independency intire, make a confederacy for acting with common consent for their common preservation and safety.* Such confederated republics were the Achaian ones; and such are called systems of republics.
A monarch has a right to any title of honour.Since monarchy is formed as often as all the subjects submit their will to one person (§115); the consequence is, that it is the same what title of honour he assume to himself, monarch, emperor, king, duke, or prince; and that having no superior, he may change his title, and take any other at his pleasure,* tho’ he cannot so easily force other kings or republics to acknowledge any new title he may take; and therefore it is more prudent for a prince, before he assumes to himself any new title or dignity, to know the sentiments of other kings and states about it, and expresly to stipulate to himself such new titles of honour.
[iw-1]He solely exerces all the rights of majesty.Hence it is evident that a monarch governs all by his will; and tho’ he may take counsel from persons of prudence and experience, yet their opinions are not suffrages but counsels; and that he acts at all times, and every where; so that it was justly said in the times of Hadrian the Roman em-peror, “Roma est, ubi imperator est,” where the Emperor is, there is Rome, Herod. hist. 1. 6. There is therefore no right of majesty which a prince may not exerce (§111); yea, a kingdom hardly deserves to be called a monarchy in which any other exerces any of the rights of majesty independently of the king.*
The difference between a monarch and a tyrant.But tho’ a monarch governs all by his will, (§120), yet he ought not to act otherwise than the end of the state, the security of its members requires (§105); whence it follows, that the security and happiness of the people ought to be the supreme law in a monarchy; and in this does it differ from tyranny, which refers all to its own security and advantage; and which being acquired by villainous practices, cannot be retained by good methods, and therefore is very little concerned about the public welfare, provided it can sustain and preserve itself.†
How the rights of majesty are exerced in aristocracy.Again, from the definition of aristocracy, we infer, that all the rights of majesty or sovereignty belong to the whole senate or college of nobles, and cannot be exerced but by the concurring consent of the whole senate. There must therefore be a certain place where they assemble to consult about the common affairs of the state; and likewise a certain appointed time, on which the ordinary senate is held, unless some unexpected emergencies demand the calling of a senate out of the ordinary course. Besides, because the consent of many can hardly be expected but by submission (§17); the consequence is, that even in aristocracy the smaller number ought to submit to the greater number; and therefore that the voice of the plurality should determine; but in an equality of voices, nothing can be done, unless he who presides give the deciding voice, or the case be such as that there is place for the Calculus Minervae.* Moreover, since the vitious form of government, that is the opposite of Aristocracy is called oligarchy (§116), and into it does aristocracy easily degenerate (ibidem); the very nature of the thing demands that no decree be valid, unless it be made when the greater part of the senate is present, e.g. two thirds.
How in democracy.It is the same in a democracy: For since in it whatever is decreed by the common voice of the whole people is the will of the whole republic or state (§115), it follows, that the sovereignty belongs to the people, and that they have the right to exerce all the rights of majesty. But since that cannot be done unless the people hold assemblies to consult about their affairs, it is evident, that here also a certain place and stated days must be fixed for the public assemblies; and that whatever is resolved by the plurality of peoples suffrages in tribes, in curiae, or singly, is valid. In fine, that a democracy may degenerate into an ochlocracy,* if the right of voting be allowed to the minority of the people, the rest being excluded or absent, is evident from the very definition of ochlocracy (§116).
How in mixed republics.But since mixed republics, as they are called, are sometimes the best, and were formed on purpose that one form might balance another, and keep it within due bounds (§107), it is plain, that all, or some of the rights of majesty, ought to be so shared in such states, either among the senators, or among the people, that one order cannot determine any thing without consulting the other, and not to be so divided, that one may act either without the knowledge, or against the will of the other. For, in this case, nothing can hinder a republic from springing up within a republic.*
How in systems of republics.As to systems of republics, since they are either constituted by the coalition of two kingdoms into one under a common head (§118), or by a confederacy between several independent states (ibid.) it is plain, in the former case, that unless they be distinct, perfect kingdoms, besides a common king, they ought to have a common senate, to which all the orders of both kingdoms are called proportionably to their strength. But, in the latter case, each state exercises by itself, at its own pleasure, all the immanent rights of sovereignty; and the transeunt rights, relative to their common security, ought to be exercised in a common council, composed of delegates from each, which is either perpetual or temporary; and in which all affairs concerning their common security are determined, the delegates having first consulted each his own state.†
There may be a great diversity of systems of republics.But because such confederacies chiefly depend upon the articles or terms of the agreement, there cannot but be a great diversity in this matter; and some will be more closely united, and others more laxly; some will have more, and some less in common. Thus some may have, by confederacy or treaty, a common treasury, a common mint, and a common armory, and others not. In fine; some may have a certain president, who is guardian of the confederacy, and takes the chair in the council and others may be confederated in a very different manner; and, in a word, neither the right of suffrage, nor the manner of contributing towards the common security, nor any of the other constitutions can be every where, or in all confederacies the same.
Remarks on This Chapter
First of all, it is worth while to observe here, That tho’ it be very certain that mankind may be very happy, and arrive at a considerable degree of perfection in sciences and arts, to great politeness as well as opulence, in segregate families living independently one of another, or with regard to one another, in a state of natural equality and liberty; yet, as it is beyond all doubt on the one hand, that an ill-constituted civil state is the source of the greatest misery mankind can fall into; so on the other hand, it is equally plain from the nature of things, and from experience, that there is a perfection and happiness attainable by a rightly constituted civil state, to which mankind can no otherwise attain. Now mankind may be justly said to be fitted and designed for the state of the greatest perfection attainable by them in consequence of their frame; and therefore to be designed for the civil state, by which the greatest perfection and happiness of mankind is attainable. There must be means to an attainable end; and all means cannot possibly be equally fit for attaining the same end: But any end attainable by man in consequence of his having the means for attaining to it in his power, is, properly speaking, an end within human reach, according to the laws of human nature. And it is but doing justice to the Author of nature, and but speaking of the end for which mankind is designed by the Author of all things, in the same manner we speak of the ends for which any mechanical structure of nature’s production (as the human body, or any other animal body) or any mechanical structure produced by human art, (as a ship, a watch, &c.) is designed, to say that mankind are principally designed by the Author of nature for the best end, or the highest perfection and happiness within human reach, in consequence of man’s frame and constitution, the laws of his nature, and the means within his power. If therefore the highest perfection and happiness within human reach be attainable, and only attainable in a rightly constituted civil state, and if men be sufficiently impelled to, and furnished for rightly constituting a civil state, man may be said to be intended for a rightly constituted civil state, and all the perfection and happiness attainable in it, or by it, in the same sense that any animal structure, or any machine, is said to be intended for its end. Our conclusion must hold, if the premises from which it is drawn be true.
Now, that there is a very high degree of perfection and happiness attainable by man in a rightly constituted civil state, not otherwise attainable by man, will appear from comparing civilized states one with another, and with nations living without any order deserving the name of civil government. But the manifold advantages of rightly constituted civil government having been fully proved by many authors, Harrington, Sydney, Locke, among the moderns, and by Plato, Aristotle, Polybius, Cicero, and others among the ancients; I shall only add upon this head, a very remarkable saying of one ancient, with regard to the greatest happiness attainable by man. Hippodamus Thurius Pythagor. de felicitate,5 having described the principal ingredients of human happiness, says,—Quae quidem omnia contingent si quis rempublicam bene constitutam nanciscatur. Id quod quidem Amaltheae quod dicitur cornu voco. Etenim in recta legum constitutione sunt omnia; neque maximum naturae humanae bonum vel existere absque ea, vel comparatum & auctum permanere possit. Nam et virtutem, & ad virtutem viam in se continet, quandoquidem in ea partim naturae bona procreantur, partim & mores & studia; leges optime se habent & recta ratio, pietas sanctimonia magnopere vigent. Quamobrem qui beatus futurus & seliciter victurus est, eam in bene constituta republica & vivere, necesse est & mori, &c. “All these blessings and advantages will accrue to one from a well constituted republic. This we may justly call the horn of Amalthea, the horn of plenty and felicity. For all depends upon the good orders, constitutions and laws of a state: Nor can the greatest good of mankind be attained, or being attained, be preserved, without right government. A well framed government includes virtue, and the way to virtue in it: Good orders make good men: There the goods of nature grow up as in their proper soil; and there good manners and useful studies and employments will flourish: There the laws direct and impel into the right paths; and there reason, virtue, piety, authority, must have their greatest splendor and vigour. Wherefore, he who would be as happy as man can be, and would continue while he lives to be such, must live and die in a well framed, a well constituted or balanced civil government, &c.”
2. But let me just observe, in the second place, that ends and means to ends, can only be learned from nature itself by experience, and reasoning from experience. This must be equally true with regard to natural and moral ends and means. The consequence of which is, that the political art required time, observation and experience, to bring it to perfection, as well as natural or mechanical arts. And for this reason, in very early times of the world, men could not be so much masters of the science upon which the framing of government aright must depend, as to have had all the advantages and disadvantages of different governments, all the various effects of different moral or political constitutions in their view, in framing a government: They could only learn these natural connexions of moral things from experience. And therefore, in treating of government, two separate enquiries ought never to be confounded; the one of which is, “what ends right reason dictates to mankind as the ends to be proposed in constituting civil government; and what means, i.e. what orders and constitutions it points out as the proper means in order to attain these good ends.” And the other is, “how in fact various governments were formed, and how, being formed, they changed gradually their frame to the better or worse.” The one is a question of fact or history; and the principal advantage reaped by history, is instruction in the natural effects of various constitutions in different situations; or the knowledge of what moral connexions and causes produce in different circumstances, and the knowledge of the rise of different circumstances, from internal or external causes; which knowledge has the same relation to moral theory in moral philosophy, that the history of facts in nature, with regard to the operation of natural causes in different circumstances, has to natural theory or physics: that is, it is the only solid basis in both to build upon. For as in physics it is now agreed that we can only come to solid or real knowledge by induction from experiments; so in morals and politics it is equally true, to use the words of a great man often quoted in these remarks, “To make principles or fundamentals belongs not to men, to nations, nor to human laws. To build upon such principles or fundamentals as are apparently laid by God in the inevitable necessity or law of nature, is that which truly appertains to men, to nations, and to human laws. To make any other fundamentals, and then build upon them, is to build castles in the air.”6 The other question supposes knowledge of human affairs, and the natural operations of moral causes, learned in this way from fact, and reasoning from fact or experience; and it is properly a philosophical enquiry into what ought to be done in consequence of the natural operation of moral causes, or of the laws of human nature, known by experience, in order to frame such a civil government as would make its members as happy as men can be. And it is, when it proceeds upon facts or experiments, the most pleasant and useful of all philosophical enquiries; and that certainly, which, of all other studies, best becomes those, who, by their natural happy lot, are delivered from drudgery to their backs and bellies. Nay, may I not say, that it is the study, to which, if such do not betake themselves chiefly, they are absolutely inexcusable. For sure, if virtue and benevolence be not empty names, they must lie under the strongest, the most indispensable obligations to qualify themselves for promoting human happiness: they are bound and obliged to be tutors and guardians to mankind. And whatever other employment they may carve out to themselves, or however thoughtlesly they may waste their time, if they neglect this, they neglect the noble work providence hath put into their hands to do. A work, (a happiness should I not rather say) than which nothing can be higher, nobler, or more glorious. It is a work or employment, and a happiness of the same kind with the work, employment, and happiness of the great Author of nature, the all-perfect God.
But let me observe, in the third place, that tho’ our author, in speaking of the origine of civil governments, (which is a question of fact or history) hath frequently come very near the matter, especially in the scholium, where he speaks of the king-dom founded by Nimrod, yet he hath not fully spoke it out: and therefore it will not be improper here to lay before the reader a series of propositions relative to that subject; i.e. which shew government in its natural causes, or in its natural procreation and natural variations. And these truths having a necessary connexion with what hath been already taken notice of in our remarks with regard to property, or the acquisition of dominion over things, they will be easily understood; so that there will be but little occasion to do more than just mention them. And that I shall, for the greater part, do in the very words of an excellent author, unknown to foreign writers, from whom we have already borrowed so many useful observations.7
1. The distribution of property, so far as it regards the nature or procreation of government, lies in the over-balance of the same. Just as a man, who has two thousand pounds a year, may have a retinue, and consequently a strength that is three times greater than he who enjoys but five hundred pounds a year. Not to speak of money at this time, (of that we have already treated in another remark, viz. the remarks on chapter 13. l. 1. which the reader may turn to) which, in small territories, may be of like effect; but to insist upon the main, which is property in land, (because to property producing empire, it is required that it should have some certain root, or root-land, which, except in land, it cannot have, being otherwise, as it were, upon the wing); to insist upon this, which is the main, the over-balance of this, as it was at first constituted, or comes insensibly to be changed into a nation, may be especially of three kinds; that is, in one, in the few, or in many. The over-balance three to one, or thereabouts, in one man against the whole people, creates absolute monarchy; as when Joseph had purchased all the lands of the Egyptians for Pharaoh. The constitution of a people in this, and such cases, is capable of intire servitude. Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh, Gen. xlvii. 19. If one man be sole landlord of a territory, or overbalance the people, for example, three parts in four, he is Grand Signior; for so the Turk is called from his property; and his empire is absolute monarchy. The overbalance of the land to the same proportion in the few against the whole people, creates aristocracy, or regulated monarchy. The constitution of a people in this, and the like cases, is (nec totam libertatem, nec totam servitatem pati possunt, Tacit.)8 neither capable of intire liberty, nor of intire servitude. And hereupon Samuel says to the people of Israel, when they would have a king, “He will take your fields, even the best of them, and give them to his servants, 1 Sam. viii.” If a few, or a nobility with the clergy be landlords, or over-balance the people to the proportion above-mentioned, it makes what is called the Gothic balance. (See this treated of at large by Mr. Harrington.) The over-balance of land to the same proportion in the people, or where neither one nor the few over-balance the whole people, creates popular government; as in the division of the land of Canaan to the whole people of Israel by lot. The constitution of a people in this, and the like cases, is capable of intire freedom; nay, not capable of any other settlement; it being certain, that if a monarch, or single person, in such a state, thro’ the corruption or improvidence of their councils, might carry it; yet, by the irresistible force of nature, or the reason alledged by Moses, (I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me; Numb. xi. 14.) he could not keep it, but out of the deep waters would cry to them, whose feet he had stuck in the mire. If the whole people be landlords, or hold the lands so divided among them, that no one man, or number of men, within the compass of the few, or aristocracy over-balance them, the empire, (without the interposition of force) is a commonwealth.
2. If force be interposed in any of these three cases, it must either frame the government to the foundation, or the foundation to the government; or holding the government not according to the balance, it is not natural, but violent; and therefore, if it be at the devotion of a prince, it is tyranny; if at the devotion of a few, oligarchy; or if in the power of the people, anarchy. Each of which confusions, the balance standing otherwise, is but of short continuance, because against the nature of the balance, which not destroyed, destroys that which opposes it. But there be certain other confusions, which being rooted in the balance, are of a longer continuance, and of worse consequence. As first, where a nobility holds half the property, or about that proportion, and the people the other half; in which case, without altering the balance, there is no remedy but the one must eat out the other; as the people did the nobility in Athens, and the nobility the people in Rome. Secondly, when a prince holds about half the dominion, and the people the other half, (which was the case of the Roman Emperors, planted partly upon their military colonies, and partly upon the senate and the people) the government becomes a very shambles both of the princes and the people. Somewhat of this nature are certain governments at this day, which are said to subsist by confusion. In this case, to fix the balance is to entail misery; but in the three former, not to fix it, is to lose the government; wherefore, it being unlawful in Turkey, that any should possess land but the Grand Signior, the balance is fixed by the law, and that empire firm. While Lacedemon held to the division of land made by Lycurgus it was immoveable, but breaking that, could therefore stand no longer.
3. Fixation of government cannot be provided for without fixing the balance of property. But fixation of the balance of property is not to be provided for but by laws. Now, the laws whereby such provision is made, are commonly called Agrarian laws. This kind of law fixing the balance in lands, was settled by God himself, who divided the land of Canaan to his people by lots; and it is of such virtue, that wherever it has held, that government has not altered, except by consent; as in that unparallelled example of the people of Israel, when being in liberty they would needs choose a king. But without an Agrarian, no government, whether monarchical, aristocratical or popular, has a long lease. And as governments are of divers or contrary natures, so are such laws. Monarchy requires of the standard of property, that it be vast or great; and of Agrarian laws, that they hinder recess or diminution, at least in so much as is thereby entailed upon honour. But popular government requires that the standard be moderate, and that its Agrarian prevent accumulation. In a territory not exceeding England in revenue, if the balance be in more hands than three hundred, it is declining from monarchy; and if it be in fewer than five thousand hands, it is swerving from a commonwealth. In consequence of the same principles, wherever the balance of a government lies, there naturally is the militia of the same; and against him or them, wherein the militia is naturally lodged, there can be no negative voice. If a prince holds the over-balance, as in Turkey, in him is the militia, as the Janizaries and Timariots. If a nobility has the over-balance, the militia is in them, as among us was seen in the Barons wars, and those of York and Lancaster; and in France is seen, when any considerable part of that nobility rebelling, they are not to be reduced, but by the major part of their order adhering to the king. If the people has the over-balance, which they had in Israel, the militia is in them, as in the four hundred thousand first decreeing, and then waging war against Benjamin; where it may be enquired, what power there was on earth having a negative voice to this assembly! This always holds where there is settlement, or where a government is natural. Where there is no settlement, or where the government is unnatural, it proceeds from one of these two causes, either an imperfection in the balance, or else such a corruption in the lawgivers, whereby a government is instituted contrary to the balance. Imperfections of the balance, that is, where it is not good or downright weight, cause imperfect governments; as those of the Roman and Florentine people, and those of the Hebrew Kings and Roman Emperors, being each exceeding bloody, or at least turbulent. Government against the balance in one is tyranny, as that of the Athenian Pisistratus; in the few it is oligarchy, as that of the Roman Decemvirs; in the many, anarchy, as that under the Neapolitan Mazinello.
4. From these principles will the reader find the more remarkable changes in the Athenian, Spartan, Roman, and other states, accounted for naturally by Mr. Harrington. And from them he justly infers, that wherever, thro’ causes unforeseen by human prudence, the balance comes to be intirely changed, it is the more immediately to be attributed to divine providence: And since God cannot will the cause, but he must also will the necessary effect or consequence, what government soever is in the necessary direction of the balance, the same is of divine right. Wherefore, tho’ of the Israelites God says, They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not. Yet to the small countries adjoining to the Assyrian empire, he says, “Now have I given all these lands into the hands of the king of Babylon my servant.—Serve the king of Babylon and live.” The general truth here insisted upon, which history abundantly confirms, is, that the over-balance of property begets dominion, and that the balance of dominion will always follow the balance of property, be under its direction, or vary as it varies. And therefore this author says very justly (of his works, p.70.)9 To erect a monarchy, be it ever so new, unless like Leviathan, you can hang it, as the country fellow speaks, by geometry; (for what else is it to say that any other man must give up his will to the will of this one man without any other foundation?) it must stand upon old principles, that is, upon a nobility, or an army planted in a due balance of dominion. “Aut viam inveniam aut faciam,”10 was an adage of Caesar; and there is no standing for a monarchy, unless it finds this balance, or makes it. If it finds it, the work is done to its hand; for where there is inequality of estates, there must be inequality of power; and where there is inequality of power, there can be no commonwealth. To make it, the sword, must extirpate out of dominion all other roots of power, and plant an army upon that ground. An army may be planted nationally or provincially. To plant it nationally, it must be either monarchically in part, as the Roman Beneficiarii; or monarchically in the whole, as the Turkish tenants; or aristocratically, that is, by earls and barons, as the Neustrians were planted by Turbo; or democratically, that is, by equal lots, as the Israelitish army in the land of Canaan by Joshua. In every one of these ways, there must not only be confiscations, but confiscations to such a proportion as may answer to the work intended.
5. As nothing else can fix government but an Agrarian suitable to its nature; so different superstructures are natural to different foundations of government. Thus, such superstructures as are natural to an absolute prince, or the sole landlord of a large territory, require for the first story of the building, that what demesnes he shall think fit to reserve being set apart, the rest be divided into horse quarters or military farms for life, or at will, and not otherwise; and that every tenant for every hundred pounds a year so held, be, by condition of his tenure, obliged to attend his sovereign lord in person, in arms, and at his proper cost and charges, with one horse, so often, and so long as he shall be commanded upon service. These, among the Turks, are called Timariots. The second story requires, that these horse-quarters, or military farms, be divided by con-venient precincts or proportions into distinct provinces, and that each province have one commander in chief of the same, at the will and pleasure of the Grand Signior, or for three years, and no longer. Such, among the Turks, (unless by additional honours, they be called Bashaws or Viziers) are the Beglerbegs. For the third story, there must of necessity be a mercenary army, consisting both of horse and foot, for the guard of the prince’s person, and for the guard of his empire, by keeping the governors of provinces so divided, that they be not suffered to lay their arms or heads together, or to hold intelligence with one another; which mercenary army ought not to be constituted of such as have already contracted some other interest, but to consist of men so educated from their very childhood, as not to know that they have any other parent or native country, than the prince and his empire. Such, among the Turks, are the foot, called Janizaries, and the horse, called Spahys. The prince, accommodated with a privy council, consisting of such as have been governors of provinces, is the top-stone. This council, among the Turks, is called the Divan, and this prince, the Grand Signior.
The superstructures proper to a regulated monarchy, or to the government of a prince, (three or four hundred of whose nobility, or of whose nobility and clergy hold three parts in four of the territory) must either be by personal influence, upon the balance, or by virtue of orders. The safer way of this government is by orders; and the orders proper to it, especially consist of an hereditary senate of the nobility, admitting also of the clergy, and of a representative of the people, made up of the Lord’s menial servants, or such as by tenure, and for livelihood, have immediate dependance upon them.
An aristocracy, or state of nobility, to exclude the people, must govern by a king; or to exclude a king, must govern by the people. Nor is there, without a senate, or mixture of aristocracy, any popular government; wherefore, tho’, for discourse sake, politicians speak of pure aristocracy and pure democracy, there is no such thing as either of these in nature, art, or example: where the people are not over-balanced by one man, or by the few, they are not capable of any other superstructures of government, or of any other just and quiet settlement whatsoever, than of such only as consists of a senate as their counsellors, of themselves, or their representative, as sovereign lords, and of a magistracy answerable to the people as the distributers and executioners of the laws made by the people. And thus much is of absolute necessity to any, or every government, that is or can be properly called a commonwealth, whether it be well or ill ordered. But the necessary definition of a commonwealth any thing well ordered, is, that it is a government consisting of the senate proposing, the people resolving, and the magistracy executing. To speak of different or-ders in commonwealths, would be almost endless. Some commonwealths consist of distinct sovereignties, as Switzerland and Holland; others are collected into one and the same sovereignty, as most of the rest. Again, some commonwealths have been upon rotation or courses in the representative only, as Israel; others in the magistracy only, as Rome; some in the senate and magistracy, as Athens and Venice; others in some part of the magistracy, and in others not; as Lacedemon in the Ephori, and not in the kings; and Venice not in the Doge, nor in the procuratori, but in all the rest. Holland, except in the election of states provincial (which is emergent) admits not of any rotations or courses. But there may be a commonwealth admitting of rotation throughout, as in the senate, in the representative, and in the magistracy, as that proposed by Mr. Harrington in his Oceana. Rotation, if it be perfect, is equal election by, and succession of the whole people to the magistracy by terms and vacations. Equal election may be by lot, as that of the senate of Lacedemon; or by ballot, as that of Venice, which of all others is the most equal. The ballot, as it is used in Venice, consists of a lot, whence proceeds the right of proposing, and of an unseen way of suffrage, or of resolving. From the wonderful variety of parts, and the difference of mixture (before Mr. Harrington scarce touched by any) result those admirable differences that are in the constitution and genius of popular governments; some being for defence, some for increase; some more equal, others more unequal; some turbulent and seditious, others like streams in a perpetual tranquillity. That which causes much sedition in a commonwealth is inequality, as in Rome, where the senate oppressed the people. But if a commonwealth be perfectly equal, it is void of sedition, and has attained to perfection, as being void of all internal causes of dissolution. And hence many antient moral writers, Cicero in particular, have said, that a well constituted commonwealth is immortal, aeterna est. An equal commonwealth is a government founded upon a balance, which is perfectly popular, being well fixed by a suitable Agrarian, and which, from the balance, through the free suffrage of the people given by the ballot, amounts, in the superstructures, to a senate debating and proposing, a representative of the people resolving, and a magistracy executing; each of these three orders being upon courses or rotation; that is, elected for certain terms injoining like intervals. And to undertake the binding of a prince from invading liberty, and yet not to introduce the whole orders necessary to popular government, is to undertake a flat contradiction, or a plain impossibility.
6. All I have further to add in this remark, designed to shew the natural generation and variation of empire is, that these principles (as Mr. Harrington has observed) were not unknown to ancient politicians, and are sufficiently confirmed by history. That they were not unknown to Moses, is plain from the history given us of the orders of the commonwealth instituted by him; nor to Lycurgus, is as plain. I shall only just set down the passages Mr. Harrington quotes from Aristotle and Plutarch. The first is Aristotle, in these words: “Inequality is the source of all sedition, as when the riches of one or a few come to cause such an overbalance in dominion, as draws the commonwealth into monarchy or oligarchy; for prevention whereof the ostracism has been of use in divers places, as at Argos and Athens. But it were better to provide in the beginning, that there be no such disease in the commonwealth, than to come afterwards to her cure, Polit. 5. 3.” The second is Plutarch, in these words: “Lycurgus judging that there ought to be no other inequality among citizens of the same commonwealth than what derives from their virtues, divided the land so equally among the Lacedemonians, that, on a day beholding the harvest of their lots lying by cocks or ricks in the field, he laughing said, that it seemed to him they were all brothers, Plutarch in Lycurg.”11 This account of the rise, variation or fixation of empire, is abundantly confirmed by experience or history. To prove this I shall only here insert a small part of what Mr. Harrington says of several ancient republics, in order to excite the reader’s curiosity to have recourse to himself, (of his works, p.57).12 “Israel and Lacedemon, which commonwealths have great resemblance, were each of them equal in their Agrarian, and inequal in their Rotation: especially Israel, where the Sanhedrim or senate first elected by the people, took upon them ever after to substitute their successors by ordination. And the election of the judge, suffes,13 or dictator, was irregular, both for the occasion, the term, and the vacation of that magistracy, as you find in the book of Judges where it is often repeated, That in those days there was no King in Israel, that is, no Judge: and in the first of Samuel where Eli judged Israel forty years, and Samuel all his life. In Lacedemon, the election of the senate being by suffrage of the people, tho’ for life, was not altogether so unequal, yet the hereditary right of kings, were it not for the Agrarian, had ruined her. Athens and Rome were inequal as to their Agrarian, that of Athens being infirm, and this of Rome none at all; for if it were more anciently carried, it was never observed. Whence, by the time of Tiberius Gracchus, the nobility had almost eaten the people quite out of their lands, which they held in the occupation of tenants and servants: whereupon, the remedy being too late, and too vehemently applied, that commonwealth was ruined. These also were unequal in their rotation, but in a contrary manner. Athens, in regard that the senate (chosen at once by lot, not by suffrage, and changed every year, not in part, but in the whole) consisted not of the natural aristocracy; nor sitting long enough to understand or be perfect in their office, had no sufficient autho-rity to restrain the people from that perpetual turbulence in the end, which was their ruin, notwithstanding the efforts of Nicias, who did all a man could do to help it. But as Athens fell by the headiness of the people, so Rome fell by the ambition of the nobility, through the want of an equal rotation; which, if the people had got into the senate, and timely into the magistracy (whereof the former was always usurped by the patricians, and the latter for the most part) they had both carried and held their Agrarian, and that had rendered that commonwealth immoveable.”
This short specimen of our Author’s way of reasoning about the rise and fall, or variations of civil government, is sufficient to shew, that he reasons from natural causes in these matters, as natural philosophers do about phenomena commonly called natural ones. And indeed every thing in nature, moral or corporeal nature, must have its natural course, its natural rise, progress and variations. And as to know the one is to be a natural philosopher, so to know the other is to be a moral philosopher or politician.
[* ] They attest the truth of this who have visited the anciently unknown countries, northern and southern, having found in most of them either great multitudes subject to one king, or determining matters of common concernment to them by common consent. For what some authors have said of the Cafri, and the people inhabiting mount Caucasus, and of certain American Islanders, (see Hert. Elem. prud. civil. 1. 1. p.45. Becmann. geograph. 9. 8.) [[Hertius, Elementa prudentiae civilis; Johann Christoph Becmann (1641–1717), German historian and Protestant theologian, author of the Historia orbis terrarum, geographica et civilis these accounts seem to be given by persons who had not enquired very narrowly into the matter, and who thought they saw no vestige of civil government, where they saw no palaces and guards, nor nothing of the splendor and magnificence of a court. Petrus Kolbius, who lived long in that corner of Africa, says of the Cafri, that they were divided into seventeen provinces or nations, each of which had its own prince, whom they called Kouqui, and that every village had its prefect, called in their language Kralle, who had even the power of punishing criminals. As for public affairs, he adds, that all the prefects met together, and consulted in a common-council, in which the prince of the nation presided. I am afraid what Salust says of the Aborigines and Gaetuli, Catil. cap. 6. & Jugurth. c. 18; and Strabo of the Numidians, geograph. l. 17. p.1191. and Valerius Flaccus, Argonaut. l. 4. v. 102. Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica of the Bebricii, Pliny of the Troglodites, hist. nat. 5. 8. and in fine, Homer of the Sicilians, that all these accounts are equally groundless. The natural state of the Sicilians is elegantly described by Homer Odyss. l. 10. v. 112.Nec fora conciliis fervent, nec judice: tantumAntra colunt umbrosa: altisque in montibus aedesQuisque suos regit uxorem natosque, nec ulliIn commune vacat socias extendere curas.
Homer, Odyssey 9.112, ed. Stanford: “[Of the Cyclopes] They keep no meeting places for councils, nor for a court; they rather dwell in shady caves, their homes in the high mountains, and each man rules his own wife and children, and never calls partners in common to share his concerns.”
[* ] Thus we find Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who lived sometime in a natural state, (§92), tho’ they only applied themselves to husbandry, and feeding of cattle, to have lived very agreeably, and to have amassed great wealth, and to have wanted nothing, Gen. xxiv. 35. xxxiii. 11. And indeed, seeing families living separately and independently in very early times of the world, understood agriculture, and planting and dressing of vines, and were no strangers to gold and silver, and the more useful arts (Gen. xiii. 2. xxiv. 35.) what could men desire more, tho’ they lived in a state of nature, if luxury were unknown, and made none of its exorbitant demands to which nature is a stranger?
[* ] A proof of this is the mannerly polite speech of Abraham to Melchisedech, Gen. xiv. 22. and his uncommon hospitality to strangers, Gen. xviii. 2. and his conference with the sons of Heth, Gen. xxiii. 7. That Abraham had taught his servants to be most observant of decency and good manners, appears from that message carried by Eleaser to Nachor, Gen. xxiv. 22. Nor does that interview between Jacob, in his return from Mesopotamia with Esau, savour in the least of barbarity, in which they strove to outdo one another in civil words, presents, and other tokens of love and friendship. Besides, if it be true, which Joseph. antiq. Jud. 1. 9. says of Abraham, that he was skilled not only in numbers, but in astronomy; and what is said by others of skill in the interpretation of dreams being brought to great perfection in his family (Suidas Abraham. [[Suidas, Suidae lexicon, vol. 1, “Αβρααμ” & Justin. hist. 36), none can doubt but that the arts and sciences may be cultivated to a great degree of perfection in a state of nature, and therefore that there is no need of a civil state in order to gain that end.]]
[1 ] Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days, line 87.
[2 ] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, bk. 8, chap. 11, in The Works of Aristotle, vol. 9.
[* ] For why might not the heads of segregate families have made laws, and distributed justice each in his own family, (§92)? Again, why might not the more simple societies have produced all the advantages of union, since in these every one was at liberty to acquire what he pleased, and there would be none of those tributes, taxes, imposts, upon persons or estates there, which now eat up the property and estates of subjects in civil governments? Let nature be as abhorrent of solitude, and let a state of solitude be as miserable as Pufendorff hath painted it out to be, yet we can never say, that Abraham, for example, lived in a solitary state, who besides a wife and a hand-maid, and many children by both, had such a numerous retinue of servants, that he could bring into the field three hundred and eighty servants born in his family, Gen. xiv. 13. However strong the natural propension of mankind to society may be, yet surely they were not immediately led by natural inclination to form those larger societies, in which there are many things very contrary to the natural dispositions of mankind, as Pufendorff hath shewn at great length in his 7th book, cap. 1. §4. of the law of nature, &c. It is however very certain, that in a civil state, if it be rightly constituted, justice is well administred, and all the public and private interests of mankind are wisely consulted and provided for; but those things are more properly called consequences of good civil government, than motive causes to the formation of it.
[* ] This is the most natural account of the rise of civil government, if we attend to reason and the nature of things. But ancient history sets it beyond all doubt that it was so. For that is found in the sacred writings. And these records assure us, that before the deluge, not the sons of God, as they are called, Gen. vi. 1. but the posterity of Cain, built the first city, Gen. iii. 17. For tho’ we should grant to the learned Jo. Clerc. comment. p.40. [[Jean le Clerc, Genesis sive Mosis prophetae liber primus that this city consisted but of a few little cottages, set about with a mound or green hedge (which is by no means certain or indisputable) yet a society of many families, without some form of civil government, can hardly be conceived. Moreover we are told, that after the deluge Nimrod the son of Chus, being mighty in possessions or territories, founded the kingdom of Babylon, i.e. began to oppress others, and force them to submit themselves to his command, Gen. x. 8. Nor is any more ancient kingdom mentioned by Moses, tho’ the names and transactions of several kingdoms and dynasties occur in the history of the time of Abraham, a few ages after. And who indeed can doubt that civil states were originally formed in this manner, i.e. by violent oppression, since this has so often happened in latter times? Hertius prud. civil. 1. 3. 4. p.77. & seq. has shewn by instances brought from universal history, that the most potent kingdoms took their rise from oppression and robbery.]]
[† ] They are not therefore in the wrong who assert that fear and force were the origine of civil society, as Bodin, de rep. 1. 6. 2. 6. [[Jean Bodin (1529/30–1596), French jurist and “absolutist”; see Bodin, Les six livres de la République, bk. I, chap. 6, p. 69: “La raison et lumière naturelle nous conduit à cela, de croire que la force et violence a donné source et origine aux Républiques.” Hobbes de cive. 1. Hobbes, On the Citizen 1.2, p. 24. nor they who say, that men formed civil societies for the sake of enjoying their properties with security, Cic. de off. 2. 21. nor those who maintain, that the imbecillity of segregate families, was the reason why men changed their natural liberty for civil government, as Grotius de jure belli & pacis, proleg. §19. & l. 1. c. 4. §7. For tho’ all these opinions seem to differ in words, yet they come to the same thing in effect.]]
[3 ] Becmann, Meditationes politicae.
[* ] Thus, tho’ certain piratical republics in Afric were formed rather to plunder and oppress, than merely for common safety, and therefore in this respect they differed very little from bands of robbers; yet they had likewise common security for their end, as well as lawful republics have; and for that reason, they put themselves in a state of defence against all external force; and were rigid in the distribution of justice,Ne vaga prosiliat fraenis natura remotis.
[[Horace, Satires II, 74: “Lest nature should spring forward when the reins are removed and go wandering.”
This then is the common end of all civil societies; but with this difference, that the former are not very sollicitous about virtue and equity, if that end be but obtained; whereas the latter proposes that end, in order that they, as the apostle expresses it, “may lead under kings, and all in authority, quiet and peaceable lives, with all godliness and honesty,” 1 Tim. 2. 2.]]
[* ] Hence it is an idle question, what number of persons constitutes a society? For tho’ Apuleius thought fifteen freemen might constitute a republic, Apol. p. 304 [[Apuleius, “Apology,” chap. 47, p. 71, in Apuleius: Rhetorical Works, and others have said three tolerably numerous families might make one, Val. Max. 4. 4. 8. 4. 6. 5. yet the authors of these opinions seem not to have had common security as the end of society in their view, since that end cannot be accomplished by fifteen persons joined together; but the number ought to be increased, in proportion to that of the enemy feared. Accordingly, all history shews us, that states were very small in their beginnings, or confined within the narrow limits of a small territory. Nor were there any larger ones in their neighbourhood, to make them afraid. But so soon as large empires were formed by oppressing and swallowing up their neighbours, lesser republics united either into one larger republic, or making a confederacy, became a system of republics, that they might be able to resist their mighty and powerful neighbours, as it happened in Greece after the Persian overthrow, and in Germany after the victories of Drusus and Germanicus.]]
[* ] Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, vol. 4, bk. 7, chap. 77, p.159. Nicias was an Athenian general during the Peloponnesian War with Sparta.
[* ] That a republic may consist without a territory, without towns, walls, or houses, is plain from the example of the Hebrews, a most sacred republic, which wandered forty years in the deserts of Arabia, without any fixed habitation or abode, without houses or walls, till they were settled in the promised Palestine, Numb. xiv. And that a republic may consist without families, none will deny, who has considered the Papal monarchy, which hath been accurately described by Pufendorff and Thomasius. [[See Pufendorf, Des Freyherrn von Pufendorff politische Betrachtung der geistlichen Monarchie des Stuhls zu Rom. I shall not now appeal to the kingdom of the Amazons; all that is said of it having been called into doubt by many learned men. Whence it may be concluded, that it is a convenient number of men united by consent, that constitutes a republic; and that such a society does not become extinct, tho’ their territory may be occupied by others, while its members survive that loss, and are in a condition to contend with their enemies. Thus the republic of Athens still subsisted, tho’ Attica was entirely possessed by the Persians, while the fleet subsisted, into which Themistocles, with the whole body of the people, and every thing they could carry with them, had betaken himself, Nepos Themistoc. cap. 2. And therefore, Adimantus’s speech to him was very foolish, and his answer was excellent. The former said he had no right to pretend to give law or dispence justice, having no country. The other answered, that he had both a territory and a city much larger than theirs, while he had two hundred well armed and manned ships, an invasion from which none of the Greeks could resist, Herodot. hist. l. 8. p. 305. edit. Hen. Steph. Herodotus, Herodoti Halicarnassei historiae libri IX et de vita Homeri libellus.]]
[† ] Thus the inhabitants of Albania, and that medley of shepherds and thieves who attaching themselves to Romulus, built huts on the banks of the Tiber, from the beginning consented to form that republic. Dion. Halicar. antiq. l. 1. p. 72. [[Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, bk. I, chaps. 9 and 10. Thus the Sabines acceded voluntarily to the Romans, after they had formed themselves into a commonwealth, Liv. 1. 13. On the other hand, the Albans, their capital being destroyed, augmented the Roman state against their will, l. 1. 29. Nor was it ever doubted of, that the posterity of Roman citizens were Roman citizens, unless they either voluntarily abandoned their country, or being exiled, were forced much against their inclination to leave it.]]
[* ] This would hold, if any new republic were to be constituted at present by consent. But it happens rarely that any one stipulates for himself and his family in this manner in a republic already constituted. Yet we have an example in Ottanes of Persia, mentioned by Herodotus, hist. l. 3. p. 124. who, after the Magi, who had usurped the government were destroyed, when the Persian princes were assembled to consult together about a form of government, his opinion for a popular state not being approved, at last said: “Ye factious men, since some of us must be named king by lot, or by the election of the multitude, with the permission of the Persians, or some other way, I shall not oppose you, because I neither desire to be above you, nor will I be below any one of you. Upon this condition therefore do I give up my right of empire, that neither I, nor any of mine, ever be subject to any of you.” [[Herodotus, Histories 3.83 (see Herodotus, Histories, trans. Godley, vol. 2, p. 111).]]
[* ] They are much mistaken who affirm there never was any such pact. The Roman history alone sufficiently overthrows that assertion. For when that rabble of Alba, and herd of shepherds and robbers, who had enriched themselves by many depredations, had agreed to coalesce into one republic, Romulus having called an assembly, or convention, asked the people what form of government they would prefer. Dionysius Halicar. has fully described the whole affair, Antiq. Rom. l. 2. p. 80. where he tells us the answer of the people, which was to this purpose. “We do not stand in need of a new form of government nor will we change that approved by our ancestors, and handed down from them to us; but we will follow their sentiment who founded our present form of government, not without great prudence, and are content with the condition we are now in. For why should we find fault with it, since we have enjoyed under kings the goods of the highest estimation among mankind, liberty and empire over others. This is our opinion concerning our form of government.” [[Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, bk. II, chap. 4, p.325.]]
[† ] We find this order observed in the institution of the Roman republic, according to Dionysius Halicarn. For when the greater part of the Albans who had been inured to kingly government, had resolved to preserve that form of government, being then sollicitous to choose a king, they added: “And this honour we think is due to none so much as to you, as well on account of your virtue as your birth; but chiefly, because you have been the leader of this colony; and we have experienced in your conduct, in all your words and deeds, great prudence and valour.” In like manner, a little after, when the people was divided into curiae and tribes, and a hundred fathers were chosen to compose the council or senate of the republic, the administration of the republic was so divided, that the care of sacred things, the conservation of the laws and customs, the power of judging in crimes of the higher kinds, the right of proposing to the senate, and of assembling the people, was given to the king; to the senate the right of deciding whatever was propounded to them by the king, and passing the opinion of the majority into an act or decree; and to the people under the senate proposing, the right of creating magistrates, and giving the ultimate authority to laws, and of determining upon war or peace, if the king would permit. This is the fundamental law or constitution of this new government, as it is described most accurately by an author excellently versed in politics, and it lasted till the tyranny of Tarquinius. [[Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, bk. II, chap. 4, p. 325, and chap. 7, p.333ff.]]
[* ] Yet this whole matter depends upon the terms and conditions of the surrendry, which are commonly better or worse, according as the victory is more or less ambiguous. Thus, while the Sabines and the Romans disputed upon a very equal footing with regard to the event of war, they thought fit to put an end to it, by striking a league, the articles of which are recorded by Dionysius. “That Romulus and Tatius should reign at Rome with equal honour and power; that the city should preserve its name derived from the founder, and the citizens should be called Roman Citizens as before, but all should be called by the common appellation of Quirites, from the country of Tatius; that the right of Roman citizenship should be given to as many of the Sabines as should desire it, and that they should be admitted into tribes and curiae, with their sacred usages.” Such was this treaty of union, by which the Sabines were in some respect permitted to constitute the republic. [[Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, bk. II, chap. 46, p.445.]]
[* ] >It was the custom of the Athenians to obtrude upon those they conquered a popular state, and of the Lacedemonians to force an aristocracy upon all whom they conquered. The reasons of which are given by Xenophon, de republ. Athen. cap. 1. §14. and cap. 3. §10. tom. 3. But one is sufficient, p. 249. [[Xenophon, “Constitution of the Athenians,” in Xenophon, Scripta minora, 474–507. This piece is now believed to be by an unknown author. The Athenians established, and often renewed, after it had been overturned, a popular state among the Samians. But when they were subdued by Lysander the Lacedemonian, he set up a decarchy among them in the room of a democracy. What fortunes other states in Greece underwent, according as the Athenians or Lacedemonians had the empire of the sea, is well known. And that these things could not happen without force is perspicuous to every one.]]
[† ] Many cannot otherwise have the same will than by consent in the same will; or by submission of all to the same will. The first cannot be hoped for, as every one will immediately see, who hath considered the different tempers, turns, geniuses and dispositions of mankind. Hence Seneca, ep. 102. “Putas tu, posse sententiam unam esse omnium? non est unius una. Do you think all can have the same mind? no single person is of one mind.” Therefore the latter way remains, which is submission to the will of one or many. For as a ship, however well manned, would perish, did not all agree to commit their safety to one pilot, skilled in navigation, who is to exert his utmost to save the ship from storms and rocky seas: so it is impossible that so many myriads of men who have coalesced into one large society, should escape the civil tempests to which they are continually exposed, and obtain safety and security, unless they be governed by one or more common rulers. Arrian, diss. ep. 1. observes, “That good citizens submit their wills to the law and authority of the state.” [[Arrian, “Discourses of Epictetus,” bk. 1, chap. 12, sect. 7; see The Discourses as Reported by Arrian, the Manual, and Fragments, vol. 1.]]
[* ] Polybius Hist. 6. 2. distinguishes between μοναρχίαν and βασιλείαν, a monarchy and a kingdom. He thus differences them: “The first, monarchy, is constituted without any art, and by the force of nature: Kingdom follows it, and takes its origine from it, then, when art comes to make emendations.” [[Polybius, The Histories, vol. 3, bk. 6, chap. 2, sec. 4, p. 275. But since things, less or more polished, do not differ in species, we shall not here take notice of this difference.]]
[* ] This is observed by the most excellent politician Polybius, ibidem p. 629. “Therefore, there are six kinds of republics: The three we have just mentioned, which are in every body’s mouth, and three nearly allied to them, the domination of one, of a few, and of the mob; some by tyranny understand monarchy, because, as we said above, this author had distinguished between monarchy and a kingdom. But he himself adds a little after, ‘a kingdom, when it declines into the disease to which it is obnoxious, viz. a tyranny.’” [[Polybius, The Histories, vol. 3, bk. 6, chap. 2, sec. 4, p. 275. In these divisions and definitions, all the writers of morals or politics agree; and therefore, there is no need of dwelling long upon them. By whom have they not been repeated?]]
[† ] Polybius pronounces this the best form of government, hist. 1. 1. p. 628. “’Tis manifest, that a republic compounded of the three forms we have mentioned, is the best.” [[Polybius, The Histories, vol. 3, bk. 6, chap. 2, sec. 4, p. 273. And cap. 8. p. 638. he highly extols Lycurgus for not having founded a simple uniform republic, but for having, by mingling the good qualities of all the best republics, composed one, consisting of all of them blended together, and by that means so equally poised and balanced it, that it could not degenerate into any of the vicious forms we have mentioned, but was kept entire by various checks. Ibid., chap. 10, pp. 289–93. So Dionysius antiq. l. 2. p. 82. after having told us, that the Roman republic was constituted by Romulus much after the same manner, he adds, “This form of a republic I prefer to all others, as being equally fit for peace or war.” Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, bk. 2, chap. 7, p. 333. I pass by several testimonies to the same purpose by Cicero apud Non. Marcell. de verb. prop. 4. 292. Marcellus, Nonii Marcelli nova editio, chap. 4, 342: “De varia significatione sermonum, per literas”; a quotation from Cicero, De republica, arguing that the ideal state has a mixed constitution with monarchical, aristocratic, and popular elements, by Zeno apud Laert. 7. 131. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, bk. 7, sec. 131, pp. 235–37 and by Tacitus annal. 4. 33.]]
[* ] Pufendorff, singulari dissertat. de systematibus civitatum, to be found in the collection of his dissert. Acad. selectae, p. 210. & seq. [[Pufendorf, Dissertationes academicae selectiores and de jure naturae & gentium, 7. 5. 16. thinks systems of societies are formed when several separate kingdoms, either by convention, or by marriage, or by succession, or by conquest, come to have one king, but in such a manner that they do not become one kingdom, but are governed each by its own fundamental laws; or by a treaty of alliance. And Hertius elem. prud. civil. is of the same opinion, 1. 12. 6. & seq. But either one kingdom is so subjected to another, that it hath no share in the common government, as anciently the kingdoms of Macedonia, Syria and Egypt were subjected to the Romans; or each retains its own constitution, as now the German empire, Hungary and Bohemia; or they coalesce in such a manner as to compose one kingdom, as now England and Scotland, Poland and Lithuania. In the first case, the conquered kingdom is reduced into a province, and does not constitute one system with the other. Nor in the second case can two kingdoms be said to have coalited into a system, since they have nothing in common, but one prince who sustains two characters. There remains therefore the third case only, in which two kingdoms, or two bodies of people uniting their will and strength for common defence, constitute one larger society, and therefore are a system of republics, according to our definition. See G. G. Titius ad Pufendorff de offic. hom. & civ.]]
[* ] For since supreme powers live in a state of nature with regard to one another, which state is a state of liberty and equality (§4. 5. 6.) it follows, that monarch is equal to monarch, and nothing hinders any one from enjoying as much dignity in his own state as any other in his; and therefore any one may take any title to himself, to support which he finds himself equal. We have seen in our times two examples of it, to which even future ages will pay reverence, in Frederick I. King of Prussia, and Peter I. Emperor of Russia; the former of whom first took the title to himself of King, and the other of Emperor, and both of whom had these titles acknowledged to them afterwards by other Kings and Emperors. It is true Pope Clement XI. shewed his intolerable arrogance, when Frederick I. a prince worthy of immortal glory, took the title of King to himself, vainly pretending, that it depended on him alone to make Kings. But this doctrine, more becoming a Hildebrand [[Hildebrand was the original name of Pope Gregory VII (ca. 1020–85), the opponent of the emperor Henry IV in the investiture contest than Clement, and detested even by princes the most devoted to the Romish church, hath been sufficiently refuted by the worthy and learned chancellor of our university Jo. Petr. a Ludewig, who had formerly fully treated that controversy in several small treatises, de auspicio regio. Add to these a very elegant treatise by V. C. Everardus Otto, de titulo Imperatoris Russorum, inserted among his dissertat. juris publici & privati, part. 1. p. 135. Ludewig (praeses) and Lilienfeld (respondens), Dissertatio iuris gentium, de auspicio regum; Otto (1685–1756), De titulo imperatoris Russorum.]]
[* ] For the understanding and will, like that of one moral person, ought to be one (§114). Now, if any exerces any of the rights of majesty whatsoever, independently of the king, the whole republic would not have one understanding and will. Wherefore, it would not be one republic, but a republic within a republic. And to this we may apply what Homer says, Iliad. 2. “’Tis not good that many should rule: Let there be one emperor, one king.” [[Not clear to which passage in the Iliad this refers. Tho’ we are not ignorant that tyrants have often abused this maxim. See Sueton. Calig. cap. 22.]]
[† ] To this head belong all the tyrannical arts of which Aristotle hath treated most accurately, Polit. 5. 10. Tyrants, conscious to themselves of the public hatred, are fearful and suspicious; and therefore, being jealous of virtue, they oppress and bear it down, and cut off the heads of the more eminent and worthy, like poppies which overtop the rest: They bear hard upon the innocent, under the pretext of treason, the only crime of those who have no crime: They sow discord and animosities among their subjects: They extinguish all the light and splendor of useful literature: They prefer foreigners to natives: The latter they bereave of all dignities and riches, and reduce to the extremest misery: But how repugnant all this is to the end of civil society, and how unjust, is glaring. Polyb. hist. 2. 59. p. 202. “For the very name Tyrant, hath annexed to it all manner of wickedness and impiety, and includes in it all the injuriousness and criminality that is to be found amongst mankind.” [[Polybius, Histories, vol. 1, bk. 2, chap. 59, p.387.]]
[* ] The Calculus Minervae is, when in an equality of condemning and absolving voices, the pannel is acquitted. For when Orestes was tried for parricide, those who condemned him being superior to his absolvers by one voice only, Minerva is said to have added one to the latter, that in an equality of suffrages, he might be absolved. And this became afterwards almost an universal law, as Euripides makes Minerva foretel it should, in Iphigen. Taur. v. 1268. [[Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris, ll. 1471–72, in Euripides, Euripides, vol. 2: “[A]nd this shall be a law—The equal tale of votes acquits the accused.” See Boecler. dissert. singul. de calculo Minervae, and a dissertation by Henr. Cocceii de eo quod justum est circa numerum suffragiorum, & de calculo Minervae, cap. 7. where this learned author gives this natural reason for the practice, “That the first state of the person accused is changed by condemnation, and is continued by absolution; and therefore nothing is done: Wherefore, since the majority only can change a former state and introduce a new one, it follows, that in the case of equality nothing is done; and consequently, the first state of the person continues to take place, and he is absolved.” Boecler (praeses) and Forer (respondens), Isopsephia sive calculus Minervae; Cocceji (praeses) and Meyer (respondens), Disputatio juridica inauguralis . . . de calculo Minerva.]]
[* ] Then is the condition of the republic most miserable, especially if demagogues interpose their arts to stir up the people and promote faction, till one of them finds an opportunity of becoming tyrant; and the same happens that Phaedrus represents to have been the fate of Athens, Fab. 1. 2.Athenae quum florerent aequis legibus:Procax libertas civitatem miscuit,Fraenumque solvit pristinum licentia.Hinc, conspiratis factionum partibus,Arcem tyrannus occupat, Pisistratus.
[[Phaedrus, Fables 1.2, lines 1–5: In the days when Athens flourished under a democracy, freedom grown rank disturbed the civic calm and licence relaxed the reins of old-time discipline. Then diverse factions formed a common plot and soon a tyrant rose and seized the citadel, Pisistratus.”
Concerning the artifices of demagogues, see Hertius Elem. prud. civil. part. 2. §23. §24. p. 496. Johann Nikolaus Hertius, Elementa prudentiae civilis.]]
[* ] The Roman state became monstrous when it degenerated into such a condition that the mob, stirred up by the factious fury of the tribunes, made laws, condemned or absolved, and did every thing without consulting with the rest of the people; and the people neither made laws nor administred justice, nor determined concerning war or peace, without the populace. But when instead of the people a certain rabble or mob decides every thing as they please, the popular state is corrupted into an ochlocracy; and that the Roman state was then not very far from such a condition, is very evident.
[† ] Such of old was the Amphyctionian council, of which see Boecler. dissert. de Amphyct. and Ubbo Emmo vet. Graec. Tom. 3. p. 305. [[Boecler, Synedrion Amphyktyonikon; Emmo, Vetus Graecia. Of this we have an example at present in the most flourishing states of Holland and Switzerland, which are described by Jos. Simlerus Josias Simler (1530–76), Swiss Protestant theologian and historian, author of De Republica Helvetiorum libri duo, Sir Richard Temple Richard Temple (1711–79), English statesman, and other learned men; so that we need not say any thing of them.]]
[5 ] Hippodamus Thurius, Peri eudaimonias (De felicitate), in Diogenes Laertius, De vitis, dogmatis et apophthegmatis clarorum philosophorum.
[6 ] Harrington, Aphorisms Political, no. 85, in Political Works, 773.
[7 ] Turnbull is referring to Harrington. The following sections are a summary of Harrington’s central ideas, mostly from Oceana.
[8 ] Tacitus, Histories I.16.28.
[9 ] Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington,Esq., 70 (see Political Works, 198–99).
[10 ] An adage of Julius Caesar: “Either I shall find a way or I shall make one.” As Liljegren points out, this adage is probably a later invention; it has no warrant in Caesar or in any of the ancient commentators on him (James Harrington’s Oceana, 282).
[11 ] This is a selective quotation from Plutarch’s life of Lycurgus, chap. 8 (Plutarch, Lives, vol. 1, “Lycurgus,” 227–29).
[12 ] Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works, 57 (Political Works, 184).
[13 ] The suffetes (“suffes”) were the supreme executive magistrates of the ancient republic of Carthage and later were considered comparable to the judges in Israel.