Portrait of Johannes Althusius

Althusius argues that a political leader is bound by his oath of office which, if violated, requires his removal (1614)

Found in: Politica

Johannes Althusius (1557-1638) believed that all political leaders were bound by their oath of office to protect the liberties of the people. If he failed in this duty the people were free to replace him with another who would:

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

[I]f the supreme magistrate does not keep his pledged word, and fails to administer the realm according to his promise, then the realm, or the ephors and the leading men in its name, is the punisher of this violation and broken trust. It is then conceded to the people to change and annul the earlier form of its polity and commonwealth, and to constitute a new one.