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principles never ripened into a science. Ma. I of all the circumstances of climate and of na. chiavel himself affords a strong confirmation tional peculiarities, whether mental or bodily, of this averment.
which ought to be considered in framing the We shall not renew the controversy con constitution of a state. These appeared for cerning the true character of the political instance, in the preference of the Venetians writings of Machiavel; they are now litera- for an aristocracy, and of the Florentines for ry curiosities, to which no politician ventures a democracy: yet Bodin appears to approve to refer. He lived, according to Hume, in of none but a monarchical government. His too early an age of the world to be a good chief peculiarity consists in his rejection of all judge of political truth. There is no neces. mixed constitutions, and the adoption of a sity at this day for recurring to a writer, rather extraordinary principle of mixture in with whom the Prince, not the People, consti- administrations; thustuted the object of consideration,
“ As of unity dependeth the union of all memThe reformation in religion became the bers, which have no power but from it, so alorigin of political freedom in Europe, and ul. so is one sovereign person in every commontimately of political speculation. Would it wealth necessary, from the power of whom not be more correctly stated, that the disposi- all others orderly depend. But as there cantion to think for themselves, which the revi. not be good music wherein there is not some val, however slow, of learning, generated in discord, which must of necessity be interminmen, appeared first in matters of religion, but gled to give the better grace unto harmony,
which the good musician does to make the soon extended itself to politics and civil insti- concert of the fourth, the fifth, and the eighth, tutions? Yet it may assuredly be said, that the more pleasing and tunable, some discord the sanction, necessarily, but not always pur- running before which may make the concert posely, given to free inquiry, by the adoption much more sweet unto the ear; as do also of the principles of the Reformation, or some cunning cooks, who to give the better taste of them, in high places, gave great encourage tain dishes of sharp and unsavory sauces ;
unto their good meats, serve in therewith cerment to freedom of thought in maiters of ci- and as the cunning painter to grace his picvil government.
ture, and to give the greater show. unto his In the United Netherlands, the creature of brighter colors, still shadoweth the same with the Reformation, the desire of deliverance black, or some other dark color, (for that the from religious and from civil tyranny went nature of all things in the world is such, as to hand in hand; and, accordingly, we are told lose their grace, if they taste not sometimes (p. 122) this country produced the celebrated of disgrace, and that pleasure always contintreatise on war and peace by Grotius, by pleasant); so also, is it necessary that there
uing becometh unsavory, dangerous, and un. which he was “ led into researches into the should be some fools among wsie men, some natural rights of man.”
unworthy of their charge amongst men of great John Bodin, a writer very little known in experience, and some evil and vicious men England, (though his work was translated by amongst the good and virtuous, to give them Knolles,ß whose history of the Turks has been the greater lustre, and to make the difference lauded by Johnson,) is mentioned (p. 125) as known (even by the pointing of his finger, the first writer who materially advanced the and the sight of the eye) between virtue and science of civil government, and was no un
vice, knowledge and ignorance.”—p. 791. worthy precursor of Montesquieu. He was We shall not inquire whether in the constructhe first who, carefully avoiding to set up any
tion of any modern Divans, or Chancelleries, perfect idealconstitution, gave an explanation the rule of this Frenchman has been followed
“ Bodin's work did not attain to that practi. * Essay, xii. Works, iii. 99.
cal influence which," as Heeren thinks, “it + See on Machiavel
, Dugald Stewart's Intro- deserved.” We own that we deem it wor. duction to the Encyclopedia ; and some remarks in Edinburgh Review, xlv. 289.
thily consigned to oblivion ; it is not unneces. Grotius only treats this subject incidental- sary to refer to the low state of political philo. ly, and it is not quite fair to quote his authori- sophy in France during the seventeenth cen. ty; His notion is, that a people may give them- tury,* :0 account for its failure of effect. In. selves up as subjects
to a king, as a man might, deed it is not very easy to say, what fruit it by the Hebrew or Roman law, give himself as a slave. And he appears to think that where would have produced if it had fallen upon a such a contract is made there is no case for resis:- genial soil. ance. Grotius was born in 1583, and published
It was in England, in Heeren's correct his work in 1625. See b. 1, c. 3. Grotius frequently refers to Aristotle, but does not follow opinion, that theories of government were him.
destined to flourish;t there the feudal cus. S“ Of the Laws and Customs of a Commonwealth, &c. written by J. Bodin, a famous Law * Bodin was born in 1530; his work was pubyer, and a man of great experience in matters of lished in 1577. State.
done into English by Richard + P. 128. The small state of Geneva alone Knolles, 1605."
disputes with it the pre-eminence.
toms fell rapidly in disuse, and the vassals The omission to notice this systematic obtained privileges which by degrees ripen- writer on polity is the more remarkable, ed into a final warrant of their liberties in as the professor observes, that the troubles Magna Charta (1215). The British con- in England (at the commencement of the stitution assumed its peculiar character be- seventeenth century) were more favorable fore those of France and Spain; from " the than similar events in other countries to "the different shape which rank assumed in Eng-development of political speculations”—(p. land, the variety of relations which existed 132) because they did not arise altogether between the nobles and the commons, and from practical grievances, but depended by means of which it became possible to from the first upon theoretical points of disconstitute the lower House in such a form pute.”—(p. 133.) The Stuarts, he says, as it afterwards assumed."
enunciated their high monarchical princi. He speaks particularly of the more comples. Elizabeth had acted upon them, but plete separation of the higher and lower no- was too wise to bring them before the pubbility, which produced the union of the lat. lic. Yet it is somewhat remarkable that ter with the middle orders, so as to form one two of King James's speeches to parliament house with them.* There was thus an as- are quoted by Locke,* for their correct exsembly " which needed only a confluence position of the position and duty of a king. of fortunate events to give it life, and breathe Heeren passes lightly over the civil wars, sentiments of freedom into the people. This but says that all circumstances contributed the Reformation effected."-(p. 132.) " to advance political speculations to the Although Heeren refers to the reign of utmost.
And ihe desire to found their pracElizabeth, as developing the political great-tical reforms upon theoretical principles apness of England, which tended ultimately peared in the declaration issued by the parto political freedom, he takes no notice of liament: after the death of Charles I.; the distinguished English writer who laid wherein "they supposed it would not be dethe foundation of those theories of govern- nied that the first institution of the office of ment which, in the succeeding century, be a King in this nation was by agreement of came predominant. The work of Richard the people, who chose one to that office, for Hooker was published within twenty years the protection and good of them who chose of that of Bodin; and therein first, so far as him, and for their better government, accordwe know, is to be found the doctrine of the ing to such laws as they did consent unto."'t original contract.t
As a specimen of the almost incredible
extent to which kingly writers carried their * In regard to the peculiarities to which Hee-positions, Heeren mentions the patriarcha ren apparently refers in these passages, the reader is requested to consult the eighth chapter of of Sir Robert Filmer, who deduced monarHallam's Middle Ages, (ii. 476, and also iti. 56). сhy in hereditary succession from Adam The lower nobility, or those whom we denomi- and the patriarchs. This foolish book has nate the gentry, including the younger sons of been long ago forgotten. peers, did not possess any of the privileges appertaining to the higher nobility, and so soon as
He speaks more highly of Hobbes,f" who the Commons sat in a separate House, the knights defended his opinion with very different of shires were associated not with the lords, but weapons." His theory was, that men in a with the burgesses. An assembly representing state of nature were in continual hostility, a body of this mixed description, was necessarily and fear made them form themselves into presenting a mass from which all men of noble civil society by some specific agreement; birth, and the greater proportion of landed pro- hence the state is founded upon a compact. prietors, were excluded. Hallam refers to For Though Hobbes's theory did not exclude free spirit of the English Constitution in the time an aristocracy or a democracy (if by compact of Edward IV. Fortescue's work is unquestion- and unmixed), he preferred a despotic moably most valuable and interesting; but surely narchy. Mr. Amos, the editor of Fortescue, goes too far A second English writer well known, when he cites the passages in which the King's but little regarded, of whom Heeren takes in proof of the fundamental principle in the Eng- no notice, is Harington. His theory ran lish constitution, that "no man can be compelled to relinquish his property without his consent. Fortescue's people are represented by the House * B. 2, ch. 18, sec. 200. Speeches of March of Commons as constituted in his time.-Hallam 19, 1603, Parl. Hist. 1, 985, and one in 1609, also refers to Philip de Comines, (b. 4, c. 1, and which we cannot trace. On the former we have b. 5, c. 19, in Petitot, xii. 101 and 299,) for the made some remarks in our Vol. XIX. estimation in which our constitution was held + Par). Hist. iii. 1293. We are indebted to by a counsellor of Louis XI.
the English translator of Heeren for pointing + See the first book of the Ecclesiastical Polity, out this passage. published in 1597, and various passages quoted # P. 137. Hobbes was born in 1588, and died by Locke in his treatise on government. in 1679; De Cive was published in 1642.
chiefly upon an agrarian or property law; and seventeenth centuries not one succeeded; his object being to prevent an overwhelming and Sidney's work is creditably distinguishpower or influence from large possessions. ed from theirs, by having less of fiction and His commonwealth was founded on the fancy. Although a strong republican spi. principle of rotation as well as election, in rit pervades his book, Sidney admits that a regard both to deputies and to officers. pure democracy is practicable only in a Still he recognised a distinction of men ac- small town, and he gives the preference to cording to property. The horse. (or eques. a mixed government, of monarchy, aristotrian order) included all persons having cracy and democracy. His authority was more than 1001. a year. Hobbes and Ha- quoted by the federalists in America, in oprington may pair off; a man may be an position to the more violent republicans. excellent statesman* without reading a word He makes his king subordinate to the law, of either. t
(as he unquestionably is,) and accountable We should have expected to hear some to the people in extreme cases; but these thing of Puffendorff, whose great work is derogations from the majesty of kings are still quoted, though not osten in reference expressed in strong and disrespectful terms, to civil government. This writer devotes such as a man uses who has no gieat indissome sections to the refutation of Hobbes, position to come to the extremity to which not only for his loose morality, but for his they are applicable. Of the two passages denial of a compact between sovereign and selected as treasonable by Sir Robert Saw. people. Puffendorff's system presumes a yer,f one, if not both, may be said to go compact as the foundation of every govern- technically beyond the law; but when it is ment between king and people, or among remembered, that they were parts of an anall the members of the community ;-as swer to the assertion of the divine right, and our common law courts sometimes presume absolute irresponsibility of kings, they cana bye-law to regulate elections, or other not be deemed inconsistent with the spirit of matters, within corporations. Yet he will a free constitution; though they contemnot have this called a fiction I
plate a more active and perpetual control We mention these omitted writers, be on the part of the people, ihan is consistent cause, with the opinions which we hold, of with a regular government. all these speculations on the origin and The doctrines of Sir Robert Filmer soon foundation of government, we think it fair received a death-blow in the famous vote of to show that we have not neglected the great both Houses of Parliament, affirming an authorities who appear to be against us. original contract between king and people,
According to Heeren, " Filmer attained and the substitution of a new king for the to much greater authority than Hobbes,” representative of Adam. To justify this and was accordingly singled out by Sidney evolution was apparently the object of and Locke as the worthier enemy. Pos- Locke's celebrated treatise. sibly he was selected even by these cele. So far as it was necessary to this object brated writers, one of whon), at least, was that he should expose the absurdities of Filequal to a more powerful antagonist, as af mer, his task was easy; not so, the confording the most easy triumph.
of Algernon Sidney's work, Heeren . See Adams's Defence of the American Conspeaks slightingly. “We may fairly say
stitution, i. 148.
7" The power originally in the people of Engthat his name has done more for it than it land is delegated unto the parliament.' The king has done for his name;" and “the theory is subject to the law of God, as he is a man; to of government gained very little at the hands the people that makes him a king, inasmuch as of Sidney," (p. 147). Both these positions subjection, and the parliament judges of the par
he is a king; the law sets a measure unto that are true, and yet the book is a better book ticular cases thereupon arising. He must be than others of which Heeren speaks favor. content to submit his interest unto theirs, since ably. One merit of the book is, that it does he is no more than any one of them in any other not set up a "theory of government." or respect than that he is, by the consent of all, raisthose who made this attempt in the sixteenth dition, he may renounce the crown; But if he re
ed above any other. If he does not like this con
ceive it upon that condition (as all magistrates * The lovers of ballot however will find in pp. I do the power they receive), and swear to perform 54 and 113, (edit. 1747,) a strong recommenda- | it, he must expect that the performance will be tion of the ballot, illustrated by an engraving. exacted, or revenge taken by those that he hath
+ Yet Heeren takes much notice of Harington's betrayed.”—“ We may therefore change, or take Essays, VII. and XVI.
away kings, without breaking any yoke, as that # Buffendorff holds that no man can be bound is made a yoke which ought not to be one, the by a majority till he has consented so to be. In injury is therefore in making or imposing, and ch. 8 of book 7, he admits of exceptions to the there can be none in breaking it."-State Trials, rule of obeying the supreme power, and very ix. 819. We cannot find these passages in the properly limits them to extreme cases.
book itself, Edit. 1772.
struction of a theory, itself free from absur-| English nation, and to have been treated dity.
there with such blind respect, as to deter According to that which Locke has fram- other writers from the study of the science ed, the natural state of man is one of perfect of government; and it is not without a polofreedom, equality, and independence, and out gies that he ventures to suggest a deducof this no man can be taken, otherwise than tion from what he calls the undoubted merits by his own consent (ch. 8; sec. 96-7); and of Locke. Yet, in truth, he destroys the this consent, he assumes, implies a consent philosophical character, or at least negatives to be bound by the majority.* He denies, the usefulness of the work, when he achowever, that any man is bound by the con- counts for its being partial and incomplete sent of his father (sec. 118); but if the fa- by its having reference only to one particuther have left to him any land or other pos- lar state. By degrees he gets bolder, and session within the country, and has attached expresses a suspicion, that if the constituto it a condition of allegiance to the state, tions of well governed countries (he inhe is then bound, as if he had given his stances Denmark and Prussia) are not to personal assent (sec. 119).
be deemed rightful constitutions, because all As to this implied consent, however, Locke's conditions are not fulfilled, the where there is no inherited property, Locke fault lies rather in the theorist, than in the is not very clear; in one place he attaches states themselves; " and so," he at last it to the mere circumstance of being within sensibly concludes, " and so in truth it does,”' the territory of the conventional government (p. 155). (sec. 119). Yet in another he affirms that But Heeren overrates the estimation of even submission to the laws does not make Locke's book in England; he supposes it a man a member of the society; there must to have been "current, if not among the be a positive engagement, an express pro- mass of the people, at least among the wellmise and compact (sec. 122).
informed and educated part,” (p. 153). Another part of his doctrine, of which We suspect that the fact was nearly remore use has been made is, that even the su- versed. Not, perhaps, among the mass, preme power cannot take from any man but in the herd of talking and unthinking any part of his property without his own politicians, the doctrines of Locke were consent, (sec. 138); but this is explained to familiarly cited, while they were quietly remean, that all men may be called upon to jected by more sober and reflecting men. pay their proportion of the necessary We are now speaking of the period charge of the government; still it must be between the Revolution and the contest with their own consent, that is, the consent with the American Colonies; in this period of the majority, giving it either by them- there was little discussion, and not much selves, or their representatives chosen by thought in England, of original contracts them, (sec. 140).
or first principles of government. The Heeren has taken little notice of the dif- Whig party was in power, and had no ficulties attending Locke's theory, and even object in putting forward their liberal thinks that it is carried into practical effect theories. in the English Constitution. The philoso In this interval, however, two continental pher himself
, in attempting to reconcile his writers appeared, both very much known, theory with the practice of his country, but not either of them now very much folfound one difficulty in the imperfections of lowed. These were Montesquieu and our parliamentary representation, and even Rousseau. starts a doubt whether any power within About the middle of the eighteenth the state could so far depart from the form century, "the spirit of the French nation of government established by the original received a sudden impulse from the hand contract, as to remedy these imperfections of one who became to the French what He was frightened by his own creature. Locke was to the English.” The “Esprit However, he gets over this difficulty of his des Loix” of Montesquieu obtained at once own formation, and is clearly an advocate a great influence; yet Heeren asks the for parliamentary reform, though still it rather disrespectful question, “what is the ought, according to him, to emanate from real worth of this book, and what has been the sovereign, who calls the parliament. effected by it?" (p. 164). We have no con
Heeren supposes Locke's treatise to becern with this celebrated work, except in as applicable without modification to England, far as it treats of the principles of governand to have become the text-book of the ment, and we entirely agree with Heeren,
that although Muntesquieu has afforded * He says, this is always implied, and seems much matter of thought, he has not very think a community could not go on else. clearly developed the first principles of the
science of government; all that is practical The colonists quoted Montesquieu* for in this part of the book is a laudatory de the natural right of self government, and scription of the Constitution of England. they claimed, as Englishmen, to be delivered " If therefore," says Heeren, "the idea of a from “ taxation without representation ;" and monarchy limited by representation of the from the commencement of this courtest it people, became cherished by the greater may be truly said, that part of the people of France, as the result of the first national assembly proved to be
“ Several of the most eminent practical the case, this must be mainly attributed, next statesmen of Great Britain—we need only to the example supplied by England, to the Locke's principles upon every occasion in
mention Lord Chatham as one-recognized work of Montesquieu."
parliament,” and thus, in the opinion of ProThe causes of the French Revolution are fessor Heeren, “added to his character for ab. too large a subject for an incidental opinion stract philosophy, that of the surest practical here; but we must disclaim, on the part of discernment."--p. 154. England, any fellowship with even the earliest of the constitutions, which that Re
Lord Chatham undoubtedly was apt, volution produced. The Revolutionists from an early period of his career, to bring showed from the beginning, that they went forward the people in political discussion, far beyond England or Montesquieu. In. and on the occasion of the dispute with deed, Heeren himself says that it was the America, he maintained, with great vehe“Contrat social'' of Rousseau, that became mence, that part of the doctrine of Locke, the text-book of revolution ; a work assured which teaches that no man is lo be tared ly containing principles neither warranted without his own consent ; following Locke, by the examples of England, nor enforced however, in his important modification of by Montesquieu.
that doctrine, which allow's of consent by an One of Heeren's remarks upon Rousseau elected representation, and the omnipotence satisfies us that it is unnecessary to follow of a majority of the representatives. It is a him through the rest. Not only was the very remarkable fact, that while Chatham book one of “pure speculation,” but the little thus upheld Locke's doctrine in respect of state of Geneva was the only one in which taxation, he trampled upon all that regarded its principles could, to their full extent, he legislation. Chatham was always vehement, come applicable, (p. 172). It is enough and he was as eager to assert the right of that we recollect, that Rousseau was the legislation, as to disclaim the power of taxaadvocate of a purely popular government, tion.--We cannot even recollect any disand yet abhorred representation.
tinction or reservation, which would have From the mode in which Heeren speaks prevented England from requiring from a of “the example of England, as operating colonial subject even personal service; upon France, it appears that he referred to though the extraction of a penny from his the old English Constitution and its admira- pocket was against the rights of nature, and ble working. But he takes no notice of the the principles of Locke!
The opponents transactions between England and her Colo. of Lord Chatham told him at the time, that nies, which are supposed to have contributed they could not understand his distinction, to the French Revolution, through the but they were no match for him in oratory. peculiar part which France took in them, It is a fault which we have observed in and which brought into discussion the other orators than Chatham, when they are dormant principles of Locke, and gave a laboring to establish a particular point, to new character to political discussions in throw away, almost with indignation, all England.
It must be remembered, that our remarks upon the abeyance of Locke's principles re * Address to Quebec, 26th October, 1774. Ann. ferred to the period antecedent to the Ameri. Reg. 218–While the New Englanders and other can war. It is remarkable, that while colonists thus invited their brethren in the old Heeren persuades himself that the princi: the inalienable rights of man, they showed that
French colonies to join with them in asserting ples of Locke had been carried into effect in these rights were not American, more than by England, he takes no notice of the contest English whiggery, to be applied to matters of between England and her American colo- religion, and that popery and arbitrary power nies; a contest which not only produced a they told the people of Great Britain in reference host of political theories, and revived the to the liberal measures contemplated in Canada, slumbering Essay on Government, but ended that the Legislature is not authorized by the in the establishment of a government pro
Constitution to establish a religion fraughi with fessedly founded upon the native righ!s of sanguinary and impious tenets, or to erect an ar
bilrary form of government in any quarter of the globe."-Sep. 5, 1774. Ann. Reg. 208.