Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE FIRST PART. - The Oceana and Other Works
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THE FIRST PART. - James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works 
The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington, with an Account of His Life by John Toland (London: Becket and Cadell, 1771).
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THE FIRST PART.
IN every frame of government, either the form must be fitted to the property as it stands, and this is only practicable in this nation; or the property must be alter’d and fitted to the frame, which without force has bin somtimes, but very seldom, practicable in any other nation. Nevertheless, for the better knowlege of the one way, it will be best to propose in both ways.
DIVERS MODELS THE FIRST MODEL OF POPULAR GOVERNMENT PROPOS’D.
THAT the nobility, the gentry, and the people, be persuaded to give up their whole lands to the commonwealth.
That if the whole people shall so give up their lands, they be divided into twelve equal precincts, call’d tribes.
That the man of greatest quality in every tribe have about ten thousand pounds a year given to him and his heirs, with the hereditary dignity of prince of his tribe.
That som ten other men of the next quality under the prince in every tribe, have about two thousand pounds a year in the same given to each of them and their heirs, with the hereditary dignity of patriarchs, or chief of the fathers.
That the remaining part of the lands, except forty-eight citys and their suburbs, be distributed to the whole people equally by lots.
That it be not lawful for any prince, patriarch, or other, to sell or alienat his land, or any part therof, in such manner, but that upon every fiftieth year, being for this cause a year of jubile, all lands within that compass sold or alienated return to the antient possessors or lawful heirs.
That there be one other tribe added to the twelve; that this tribe so added be not local, nor suffer’d to have any lands at all, except the forty-eight citys above reserv’d, with their suburbs, that is with a quantity of land to each of them, being in depth two thousand cubits round. That these be settl’d upon them and their heirs for ever, besides the annual tithe of the whole territory, and a piece of mony every year upon every head under the notion of an offering, in regard that other offerings are now unlawful; and that this tribe consist of clergy, having one hereditary archbishop, or high priest, for the head and prince of their tribe.
That there be no other law than that of the word of God only; and that the clergy being best skill’d in this law, be eligible into all courts of justice, all magistracys and offices whatsoever.
That the prince of a tribe, together with one or more courts, consisting of twenty-three judges elected by the people of that tribe for life, be the government of the same.
That the people of twelve local divisions take by the ballot wise men and understanding among their tribes, and of these constitute a senat for the whole commonwealth consisting of seventy elders for life.
That every local tribe monthly elect two thousand of their own number; and that these elections amounting in all to four and twenty thousand, assemble at the metropolis or capital city, and be the monthly representative of the people.
That the senat be a standing judicatory of appeal from all other courts, with power to shew the sentence of the laws of God.
That besides the law of God, whatever shall be propos’d by the seventy elders, and resolv’d by the monthly representative of the people, be the law of the land.
A SECOND MODEL OF A COMMONWEALTH PROPOS’D.
THAT there be a king without guards.
That the word or command of this king be the law.
That this king stirring out of his palace, it may be lawful for any man to slay him.
IN this model there wants but security, that while the people are dispers’d the king can gather no army, to demonstrat, that either the people must be free, or the king a prisoner.
A THIRD MODEL OF A COMMONWEALTH PROPOS’D.
THAT the nobility, the gentry, and the people, having upon persuasion given up their lands to the public, the whole territory be divided into one hundred thousand equal lots, and two more, being each of ten thousand acres.
That the inferior lots be distributed to the people.
That every man possessing a lot, be a citizen.
That the rest, except only the children of citizens, be servants to, and tillers of the ground for the citizens.
That there be no profess’d students.
That no citizen exercise any trade but that of arms only; and that the use of mony, except it be made of iron, be wholly banish’d.
That there be two kings hereditary: that each of them possess one of those lots of ten thousand acres.
That they be presidents of the senat, with single votes; and that in war they have the leading of the armys.
That there be a senat consisting, besides the kings, of twenty-eight senators, elected for life by the people.
That whatever be propos’d by this senat to the whole people, or any ten thousand of them, and shall be resolv’d by the same, be the law.
That there be a court consisting of five annual magistrats elected by the people; and that this court have power to bring a king, a senator, or other, that shall openly or secretly violat the laws, or invade the government, to justice.
A FOURTH MODEL OF A COMMONWEALTH PROPOS’D.
THAT there be a representative of the people, consisting of five thousand.
That these annually elect by lot a senat consisting of four hundred, and a signory by suffrage consisting of nine annual princes.
That each fourth part of the senat, for one fourth part of their annual term, be a council of state.
That the council of state may assemble the people, and propose to the same: that the senat may assemble the people, and propose to them. And that what is propos’d by the senat, and resolv’d by the people, be the law.
That the executive power of the laws made, be more especially committed and distributed in various functions, and divers administrations, to the nine princes.
A FIFTH MODEL OF A COMMONWEALTH PROPOS’D.
THAT the whole nation be divided into three distinct orders: the one senatorian, or nobility; the other equestrian, or gentry; and the third plebeian, or popular.
That the equestrian order be the cavalry of the commonwealth, and the plebeian the foot.
That there be a senat consisting of the senatorian order, and of three hundred senators for life.
That there be two magistrats elected by the people, for five years term, call’d censors.
That the censors have power upon cause shewn to remove a senator out of the senat; and to elect a nobleman, or somtimes a plebeian, therby made noble, into the senat.
That there be two annual magistrats elected by the people, call’d consuls.
That the consuls be presidents of the senat, and have the leading of the armys.
That the senat as they shall see occasion) may nominat one person to be dictator for som short term.
That the dictator for his term have soverain power.
That there be a division of the whole people, of what orders soever, into six classes, according to the valuation of their estates. For example: That the first classis consist of all such as have two thousand pounds a year, or upwards; the second of all such as have one thousand pounds a year, or upwards, under two; the third, of all such as have six hundred pounds a year, or upwards, under one thousand; the fourth, of all such as have three hundred pounds a year, or upwards, under six hundred; the fifth, of all such as have under the former proportion; the sixth, of all such as pay no taxes, or have no land, and that these be not us’d in arms.
That the senat propose all laws to be enacted, to an assembly of the people.
That all magistrats be elected by the same.
That this assembly of the people consist of the five classes, in such manner, that if the votes of the first and second classes be near equal, the third classis be call’d; and if these agree not, the fourth be call’d; and so for the rest.
That what is thus propos’d by the senat, and resolv’d by the people, be the law.
IN this frame the senat, by the optimacy of the first and second classes (which seldom or never disagree) carrys all, to the exclusion of the main body of the people: whence arises continual feud or enmity between the senat and the people: who consulting apart, introduce popular debate, set up som other way of assembly, as by tribes, or by parishes, with more equality of votes; elect magistrats of their own, make decrees binding the senat of nobility, indeavor to curb their power by weakning their balance, or diminishing their estates: all these tumultuously, and to the alteration of the government, with so frequent changes under so divers shapes, as make a very Proteus of the commonwealth, till having bin all her lifetime afflicted with anarchy, she ends her days in tyranny.
A SIXTH MODEL OF A COMMONWEALTH PROPOS’D.
THAT the soverain power be estated upon four thousand select men, to them and their heirs for ever.
That there be a great council consisting of these four thousand; and that their sons at five and twenty years of age have right to the same.
That the great council elect one duke for life: That the duke have a royal palace assign’d, with a guard, at the state’s charge, and a revenue of fifteen hundred pounds a year; and that he bear the soverain dignity of the commonwealth.
That this duke have six counsillors annually chosen by the great council. That he have no power to sign any writing, tho in his own name, nor to do any of his political functions without his counsillors. That his counsillors have power to sign any writing in the duke’s name, or to do any of his political functions without him; and that the duke with these six counsillors be the signory of the commonwealth.
That the signory of this commonwealth have session and suffrage in all the councils of the same, with right also to propose to each or any of them, either jointly or severally.
That one hundred and twenty elected annually by the great council, together with other councils and magistrats, to whom of course the like honor is appertaining, be the senat.
That sixteen other magistrats propos’d by the senat, and confirm’d by the great council for the term of six months, be a council apart, with three weekly provosts or proposers, call’d the college.
That the signory may assemble the college, and propose to them; that the college may assemble the senat, and propose to them; and that the senat may assemble the great council, and propose to them. And that whatever is resolv’d by the senat, and not contradicted, nor question’d by the great council, be the law.
That there be a council of ten elected annually by the great council; and that this council of ten, with the signory, and som of the college, having right of session and suffrage in the same, may upon occasion exercise dictatorian power in this commonwealth.
That the rest of the people under the empire of this commonwealth, be disarm’d, and govern’d by lieutenants of provinces. That the commonwealth have a standing army of strangers or others, in disciplin and pay. And that the city wherin she shall reside, be founded in the sea, after such a manner, that it can no more be approach’d by a fleet, than by an army without a fleet. Otherwise, this commonwealth is expos’d both to the provinces, and to a mercenary army.
A SEVENTH MODEL OF A COMMONWEALTH PROPOS’D.
THAT the people in every city, and in every province or county within these three nations, elect to every city, province, or county of the same, a matter of twenty, thirty, or forty magistrats for life. That these magistrats being so elected, be the senat of that respective city, province or county.
That the senats, thus elected, thenceforth have and injoy the soverain power within their respective jurisdiction, for ever. That every senat annually elect two or four burgomasters or consuls, to be presidents of the same. That they also elect seven magistrats, or present fourteen persons to the governor of the province; and that he elect seven. That the seven so elected be judges, or have the executive power of the laws for their term, and within their respective jurisdiction.
That in case of affairs of more public and general concern, as war or peace, levy of men or mony, and the like, the governor of the province give information of the things to be consider’d, to the nobility, and to the senats of that province; therwith appointing a time and place for the assembly of the states provincial. That each of the senats, having debated the matter propos’d, delegat one consul, with som other senators well inform’d and instructed with their will and pleasure, to the assembly of the states provincial. That the nobility of the same province delegat som of their order likewise to the provincial states. That the delegats both of the nobility and of the senats give the vote of their principals according to instruction; and that neither the nobility, nor any senat or soverainty be otherwise bound, than by their own vote.
That the provincial estates elect one magistrat for life, or during pleasure, to be provincial governor: That they elect one or more other magistrats for life, or during pleasure, to be states general.
That the states general being elected, and well instructed by their provinces, have the direction of the whole league: That each give not his own vote, but the vote of his province; and that no province be otherwise bound, than by her own vote.
IF these models (in which I claim to be the first that has laid the whole, and the highest mysterys of the antient commonwealths, to the lowest capacity of vulgar debate) be not all in the mouths of great men, and in pamphlets, for chimæras or utopias, it is great chance: yet contain they no less than the whole revolution of popular prudence. Nor is it more certain, that no one of them would fit the present state of this nation, than that he or they, whose contemplation and understanding is not well vers’d in the most, or in the best of these, shall never fit a model of popular government to the present state of this nation, or of any other. In which assurance, I com to fulfil my promise in the Second Part, or to propose such a model as is fitted to the present state of this nation.