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were really monarchies, he concludes that true, than that the English constitution annothing but a violent revolution" could be swers these questions according to Locke. supposed capable of changing this charac No man will now say that those doc. ter into its opposite."
trines were embodied in the system lately The essential distinction of a monarchy, superseded; nor are they to be found in he finds, in the possession of the sovereignty that under which parliaments are now or chief power by the prince ; while in a elected. republic it resides in the people. Accord Whatever may be said out of doors, the ing to this view, it would appear that the extreme doctrines of Locke have been reputransfer of any part of the absolute sove diated among those whose opinions have hireignty to the people, in any shape, would therto prevailed in the legislature. Universal destroy the monarchical character of any suffrage is disallowed, and thus the princiEuropean state.
pie of the universal rights of man is dis. We cannot agree with Heeren. Re-carded; it is admitted that the right of jecting equally Filmer and Locke, we hold election must be limited, so as to exclude that a nation may be very happy and pros the lower classes. No such linitation is perous, which shall either in herit from an- allowed by Locke. But, granting for a cestors, or constitute by amicable agreemoment that the exclusion of certain class. ment between prince and people, a govern- es is allowable, we will assume that the ment, in which power is shared unequally line has been accurately drain, and the by the several orders of the state, decided test of property and intelligence which quaaccording to birth, property, or other even lifies a man for an elector fairly and corless definite circumstances; even although rectly chosen. But this line is not drain, this government may be nick-named a nor is this test applied, to the whole empire, pseudo-monarchy, or a pseudo-republic; nor even to the whole of England. There being something between the two.
is no extent of property or possession which, And Heeren himself, when be comes to from its extent merely, entitles a man to details, appears to be of this opinion. For vote.* in proceeding through several pages to de. It was no doubt of the old English Conscribe a monarchy, with such limitations as stitution that Heeren wrote; but we give he thinks consistent with the monarchical him the advantage of that now in force, principle, he describes, almost exactly, the which at least attempts a nearer approach British Constitution. He is satisfied with to the theory of government. Neither the the inviolability of the king, his power of reformed, nor the ancient Constitution, can convoking and dissolving the chambers, his stand in argument for one moment, withabsolute veto upon their decrees, his un- out the aid of all these considerations, so qualified right to choose his own ministers, hateful to theoretical writers, of working and his necessary participation in all affairs well in practice, virtually representing the of the state. He admits that, in England, people, collecting, by modes irregular, a all his conditions are fulfilled, and the rights of the prince maintained, without infringing
* A man might be qualified to hold a high stathe liberties of the nation.
tion in the king's councils, and yet have no re
presentative in the House of Commons. A man The chambers to which our professor may reside in the finest house in London, and yet
may be the largest fund-holder in England he here refers, as having preserved in Eng have no vote for a member of parliament. land a just balance of powers and interests, A man may carry on a trade or manufacture are the old House of Commons and the in a certain town, may inhabit a house of a given House of Lords, in unquestioned possession parliament. ' Another who has been bred in the
yearly value, and have a vote for a member of of its share in the legislature. But, neither same school, in the same class, at the same time, when he cites the example of England, nor and profited by it exactly to the same extent, may when he states his own views of propriety, carry on the same trade in a house exactly simiis Heeren sufficiently precise in describing town of precisely equal population, in the same the mode in which the chambers are to be county, may keep the same establishment, and formed; though that is in fact the most in- pay the same taxes, direct and indirect, and yet teresting point upon which the character have no vote. of the constitution depends. “We under-tural case; and this is one of constant occur
The first of our cases is not merely a conjecstand," he says, " that both the chambers, rence. Again, the town may be supposed to be or at least one of them, is to consist of de- three times as large and populous as that in which puties chosen by the people.”
the supposed trader resides and votes, the trade What is the people, and how are the de three times as much, and yet not one man in the
may be three times as extensive, the taxes paid puties to be chosen ? Nothing can be less town shall have a vote.
set of members fit to legislate. Nay, the cable, and perhaps equally simple form is, one as well as the other, must have recourse the division of the electoral body into equal also to ancient usage,—10 peculiar, charter constituencies, each returning one repreed privileges.*
sentative. Under this plan there is no I! is not less true now than when Heeren doubt, the minority of the collective body of wrote, that in the country of Locke there is electors may have a share in the chamber. not a direct, but a virtual representaion of But neither is there any doubt but that the the people. I
minority of the constituents may return the We would here observe, that those, who, majority of members. This majority of holding that the wishes of the people are to members must necessarily be returned by be followed, support an incomplete repre- the greater number of constituencies; but it sentation, must hold, either thai the opi- may be returned by a bare majority, in each nions of the represented necessarily include of those constituencies; and the minority those of the unrepresented, or that the un-in that greater number of constituencies, represented ought not to be represented. may hold the same opinions with the maNow, if the line of distinction between these jority, (or possibly the whole body,) in the two classes is drawn (as it is assuredly not smaller number, and thus constitute a ma. drawn in England) upon correct principles jority of constituents, returning nevertheless in reference to property or intelligence, the a minority of members. exclusion may be justifiable and wise, but Supposing, therefore, a chamber to be it is not according to Locke.
dissolved with the view of collecting the But it is not only true, that Locke's the sense ef the people upon a particular meaory has not been realized in England ; sure, the election, even in this simple and Locke has not shown that it can be realized arithmetical form, may give effect and pow. anywhere. He has spoken freely and fa- er to the sense of the smaller number.* If miliarly of representation, without laying the constituencies be (as is more frequently down the principles upon which repreifn- the case) unequal in their own numbers, tation ought to be founded, so as to collect and return an unequal number of members, the opinion of even the majority; a word, the calculation will be more complicated, therefore, upon representation, and majo- but the result will be equally contrary to rity.
the principle and intention of the institu. The most simple mode of ascertaining tion.t And then too come in compromises, the opinions of a majority (applicable, how the effect of which may be, to give to the ever, only to a small state,t) appears to be minority an equal weight with the majority. the election of the whole body of represent The deficiency of the representative sys. atives by the whole body of clectors; this tem (we speak generally) will strike the would express the opinions of the majority, without giving even a hearing in the legis
* Suppose the electors to be altogether 1,000,lature to the minority. But å more practi. 000, divided into 500 constituencies of 2000 each.
In 251 of these, supporters are
returned by a bare majority, * For the householders of the towns which en. In 249 constitnencies, oppo.
namely, 1 ; now
1001X2513........ 251,251 joy that special favor of electing members, which from other towns of equal or superior importance mously
249X 2000=498,000 is withholden, possess it, simply and solely, be- Then the unsuccessful oppo.
nents in the majority of concause in some instances they, in more perhaps
251 X999=250,749 some other class having another sort of connex
748,749 ion with the town, had enjoyed the privilege for
1,000,000 four hundred years, under a grant from the crown, and the consequence undoubtedly is, that In this case, 748,749, being very nearly threethe same number of members is sometimes sent fourths of the whole, will be against the measure, to parliament, by two hundred, as by twelve and a little more than one-fourth for it, and it thousand electors; and that of persons possessing will be carried, according to the true and philotest of property, which the new system requires, sophical principles of representation. The bare one-third (perhaps a larger proportion) is disqua- majority in one set of constituencies, and the unaJified.
nimity in the other, assume an extreme case; but † An American thus speaks of the inconsist- the numbers may be greatly altered without afencies which beset a man who abandons things fecting the result. as they are, and yet proposes to carry fresh prin † For a very apt exposition of the anomalies ciples into incomplete effect :-"A moderate re- inherent in a representative system, as connected former can give no answer, he can neither plead especially with the plurality of votes given to tradition, nor the rule of three. He goes at once each elector, where more than one member is to against the genius of the British constitution, and be returned, we refer to Mr. Praed's speech in the four rules of arithmetic. He can stand nei- the House of Commons, on the 14th of August, ther upon Lord Coke, nor Cocker; the jus parlia- 1831, Parl. Deb. V. 1439. The tyranny of the mentarium, nor the multiplication table."- majority was never more recklessly exercised North American Review, xxiv. 172.
than in leaving this speech almost without an alIt is thus with the Scotch peerage.
nents are returned unani.
mind still more forcibly, when there are that the majority must have the predomimore than two sets of opinions to be collect- nance, some writers have held that the mied. Let us suppose that while many of the nority ought, nevertheless, to be represented, people approve of the measure, and many and have found a difficulty in effecting this, oppose it, there are also many who would without giving to the smaller number, what carry it a great deal further. Let there be it certainly ought not to have, equal weight supporters, opponents, and extenders ; every with the majority, and it has been success. one set having a candidate at a supposed fully argued, * that where there are more election. Each set wishes for its own man, than two members to one constituency, the and votes for him; but the opponent would nearesta pproach to right will be in allowing much prefer the supporter to the extender, each elector to vote for two only.t and if he could tell that by voting for the We know not whether we have met with opponent he would in fact bring in an ex- the idea before,but perhaps the most accurate tender, he would rather have given his suf- mode of representation would be to have no frage to the supporter.* From the mul:i- local privileges ; but, supposing the million plication of such cases, it may happen that of electors to have five hundred represenin no one constituency has the successful tatives, to let any body of two thousand eleccandidate an absolute majority. But no tors, self-associated, and united in favor of elective system provides sufficiently for the one candidate, have the right of returning case of second preference,t (if we may so that candidate by unanimous vote. We are term it,) though there are laws of election not prepared to suggest this plan for practi(not in England) where an absolute majo- cal adoption, but it really strikes us as the rity is required.
fairest mode of representing a people, whose While we thus observe upon the inadequate numbers alone deprive them of personal means by which it is attempted to ascertain the participation in the legislature. opinions of the majority, we do not admit In taking leave of the principle of representathat the absolute power of a majority is con- tion, we will just request our readers to imagine sistent with natụral right.! But admitting an election where there are three or four
* Let the supporters be supposed to be 650, the This mode of decision, when wills may be so opponents 600, and the extenders 750. The ex- nearly equal, where, according to circumstances, tenders will come in, though it may be that all the the smaller number may be the stronger force, others, (or it is quite enough, a sufficient number and where apparent reason may be all on one of them,) would have joined against him, if they side, and on the other little else but impetuous had foreseen the result. This difficulty is suscep- appetite, all this must be the result of a particular tible of infinite extension, as we suppose addi- and special convention, confirmed afterwards by tional shades of opinion.
long habits of obedience, by a sort of discipline in + We have known the following method society, and by a strong hand, vested with stationadopted where the question was, which of six ary, permanent power, to enforce this sort of days in the week should be chosen for a board constructive general will. What organ it is that day. Would it answer for political elections ? shall declare the corporate mind is so much a Each member wrote down the six days in the or- matter of positivearrangement, that several states, der which he preferred them. The first day in for the validity of several of their acts have reeach list told for six, and so down to one. And quired a proportion of voices much greater than the day having most numbers was chosen. A that of a mere majority. These cases are so enday might have been first in the majority of the tirely governed by convention, that in some cases lists, and still not chosen. Of nine lists, five a minority decides; the laws, in many countries, might have Monday at the head, reckoned at to condemn require more than a mere majority i 5X6, 30. Seven might have Tuesday second, less than an equal number to acquit. in our 7X5, 35.
judicial trials we require unanimity either to We are so little affected by things which condemn or to absolve. In some incorporations are habitual, that we consider this idea of the de- one man speaks for the whole ; in others, a few. cision of a majority, as if it were a law of our Until the other day, in the Constitution of Poland, original nature ; but such constructive whole, unanimity was required to give validity to any residing in a part only, is one of the most act of their national Council or Diet. This apviolent fictions of positive law that ever has been proaches much more nearly lo rude nature than the or can be made on the principle of artificial in-constitution of any other country.”—Burke's Apcorporation. Out of civil society nalure knows peal. It might have been added, that some selfnothing of it,” [except, Mr. Burke might have constituted societies require more than a mere said, as the law of the strongest); nor are men, majority for particular acts, such as the disposal when arranged according to civil order, other- of money. And a distinction might fairly be wise than by very long training, brought at all to drawn, even in the matter of right, between submit to it. The mind is brought far more questions which must necessarily be decided one easilyto acquiesce in the proceedings of one man, way or the other, and those which may, without a few, who act under a general procuraiion for general injury, rest in abeyance. the state, than in the vote of a victorious majority * Praed. in councils, in which every man has his share in # Where there are only two, if each has only the deliberation. For then the beaten party are one vole, a ininorily, however small, would reexasperated and soured by the previous conten- turn one member, and have equal weight, in the tion, and mortified by the conclusive defeat. Chamber, wilh the majority.
candidates, of whom two are to be returned. content that all public affairs, foreign and do. A. B. votes for the unsuccessful man ; but mestic, shall be regulated by your electors, the votes are so divided, that neither of the told by the head, or, will you give any and successful men has an absolute majority. what power, and in what form, to the upper It is proposed in the Chamber to impose a classes ?* tax. These two members vote against it, In almost all national Constitutions, even in but are beaten by a majority. And A. B., those of most recent adoption, two Chambers, according to Lord Chathan, is taxed with and only two Chambers, have been adopted, his own consent !
and an imitation in some sort of King, Lords, We have no time for the question between and Commons, has become, almost as it were, universal and limited suffrage, or for the the natural form of a Constitution,-in the principle of limitation, and nothing in Heeren way in which, as was said some years ago in makes it necessary to discuss them. In the House of Commons by a country memproceeding then to his remarks upon a ber, “Five per cent is the natural interest of second, or upper Chamber, as a part of a money.” Bolivar is, so far as we know, the constitutional monarchy, we assume it as first legislator who, admitting of more than established, that no perfect representation of one Chamber, disclaimed this servile imitathe will or opinion, either of a whole people, tion, and constituted three Chambers in his or of any portion of a people selected for fit. little republic of Bolivia.t ness, has hitherto been devised, -certainly But in most cases, and even where the re. none exists in England.
publican spirit has been most predominant, Professor Heeren (p. 187) overlooks there is, in addition to the House of Repre. one of the principal grounds, upon which a sentatives, an Upper Chamber, of which the second Chamber more highly qualified and members are in some way or other elevated less dependent upon the people than the first, above the mass of the people, or more disis recommended. He contemplates such connected from them. Sometimes there is a chamber merely as a support to the a higher qualification in property,f sometimes Throne, and observes, that it has sometimes been otherwise. Now, one important reason * These terms of distinction between the seveupon which, whether historicàlly or philoso. ral classes of the community are very indefinite. phically, we argue for the maintenance of an
By upper classes, we mean here, not only the no
bility, in the confined sense in which that word Upper Chamber* is this—that by controlling is used in England, but in addition, the country the popular Representaitves, it counteracts gentlemen, superior clergy, and persons of old or mitigates the acknowledged evils of Demo- family, even though of little properly; the more cracy,f and that it represents and invests with considerable merchants
, and highly educated art
ists, or men of letters. a power, out of proportion to their mere
to The legislative body is so composed as necesnumbers, the more highly educated and sarily to be harmonious in its different parts. It richer classes of the community, especially will never be found divided for want of an arbithose connected with the lands,
trating judge, which frequently happens where
there are only two Chambers. There being three The principle of an Aristocracy, with an here provided, any disagreement between two of additional power as such, is admitted, the mo- them is decided by the intervention of the third. ment we reject universal suffrage; and even And a question, investigated and examined by if by a very bold fiction, we confine to house - two contending parties, finds a third impartial
one to settle it. By this means, no useful law is holders, or other selected classes, the natural put aside, or until it has undergone one, two, or rights of man, it is clear that we cannot rely three votings, prior to its rejection.
Moupon those rights, unless the representation dern Congresses, I shall be told, are composed of of those who possess them is pure and per. country has been taken as a model, the nobility
only two bodies. It is because in England, which fect. The question then of an Upper Cham. and the people are represented in two Houses, ber is, under actual circumstances, one of and if the same course has been followed by expediency, and of degree. Will you be North America, where there is no nobility, we
must suppose that the habit of living under the
English government induced the imitation. The * By Upper Chamber we mean always, one faci is, that two deliberate bodies must be in perwhich sits either by hereditary right, the choice petual conflict, and for this reason Sieyes proof the crown, or by a higher properly qualifi- posed to have only one. Strange absurdity." cation.
Bolirar's Address, May 25th 1826. [Slate papers, † " If the mere popular Assembly is some- 1825-6, p. 895.) - We do not know on what ground imes led away, as it is natural it should, by sud- Bolivar expected impartiality in the third Chamden impressions or temporary clamor, this here- ber, nor how his Constitution worked. The quaditary senate may interpose itsgrave and thought-lification for the several Chambers appears to ful opinions, to suspend the effect of an intem- have differed chiefly as to age. perate vote.”—Lord John Russell on the English # As to the representation of property, hear Government, 1823, p. 153.-" That government, a former President of the United States.-" We he adds, " which some paradoxical men have have hitherto proceeded upon the idea that Rehad the conceit to undervalue.”
presentation related to persons only, and not at all
an hereditary right, sometimes a nominationing violent changes. This aristocratic influ. by the Crown, sometimes an appointment or ence did not operate through the small bo. an election for life, sometimes an election by roughs only; it belonged in great part to the two degrees—a form 10 which we have had county members, or such of them as were no time to advert, but to which we are much returned principally by the rural districts, inclined. *
and who owed their election (except in times It is quite another question whether, in of great excitement), more to the confidence framing a Constitution for a country which reposed in them personally, to their families, has hitherto been without one, a house of and influence as landholders, than to the pe. nobles, after our model, is precisely the best culiar political opinions of their constituents. to be adopted. We are disposed to think, These members were, eminently, the repre. that where there is an hereditary Crown, it sentatives of the gentlemen of England, ho. will always be safer when there is also an he. nest, independent, straightforward men; and reditary nobility ; that where family honors moreover, of late years, educated and reand estates are customarily subject to the law fined in a degree, which, no less than their of primogeniture, the holders of these ho. permanent interests in the soil, gave them nors and estates ought to constitute a great fair claims to a larger share of
than portion of the Upper Chamber ; but the their mere numbers allowed. pursuit of this topic would require a chapter The framers of the new constitution have on the necessity or advantage of a conside. in some sort admitted the ze claims, under the rable inequality of conditions, for which we head of the legitimate influence of property;" have no space. As to England, it is enough but this description is not complete. It would that the House of Lords is an ancient part of answer if these county members owed their the Constitution, and that it does in fact per- election to a direct influence exercised over form the functions of an Upper Chamber. the electors ; whereas the truth is, that exceptAnd certainly, if Heeren was justified when ing in some particular counties, (and some. he wrote, in deeming the House of Lords an times elsewhere at a time of a popular delu. admirable part of the British Constitution, its sion), the great land.proprietor could not ob. utility is more undeniable, now that the other tain his election, without the aid of the other, House of Parliament has become more po. generally smaller, proprietors, who are spread pular.
throughout the district ;* of whom they are, Under the old constitution of England, the therefore (as we have said), evidently the superior influence of the upper classes was, representatives; being however, at the saine in most cases, operative in the House of time, the representatives also of the most Commons; there was enough of popular elec- numerous constituencies. tion to ensure an effectual licaring of the And yet, although the new constirution has voice of the middle classes, in any case in augmented the number of country members, which they were strongly excited ; and there and although they are now more united than was, not always, but usually, enough of aris. they were, perhaps, at any former period, tocratic election or nomination, to prevent and have with them nearly the whole of the the too rapidly formed opinion of the public inost enlightened clergy in the world, they from bringing about rash measures, or effect. have not a preponderating share in the Legis.
lature. Thanks however to the neglect of to property. But is it a just idea ? Government lies in the Reform Act which we have ex
the doctrines of Locke, and to those anoma. is instituted no less for protection of the property than of the persons of individnals
. The one, as posed, the legitimate influence of this body well as the other, may be considered as repre- is great in the House of Commons. All sented by those who are charged with the govern those interests which are thus in the House of ment. Upon this principle it is, that in several of the states, and particularly in the State of New Commons in a bare minority, possess in York, one branch of the government is intended our Upper Chamber a vast majority. more especially to be the guardian of property, And if an upper chamber be admissible in and is accordingly elected by that part of the society which is most interested in this object of
object of go-a constitution, can it possibly perform iis vernment.” And then he argues, " that a richer functions more admirably, than when it mo. state has not the opportunity of influence which difies and mitigates measures effecting great a richer individual has, (an admission sanciion- and irrevocable changes, passed in the other ing the influence of property), regard always to house by a bare majority, against the minority be paid to realth (as well as numbers,) in fixing representing the gentry of England, or when the number of representatives for each state.”Federalist, No.54, by James Madison.
it gives that house an opporiunity of re con* We go no further into the details of the vari- sideriog suci measures; and even finally reous Constitutions that are before us, because it is probable that some new publications will give us the opportunity of considering the subject practi *Let this be considered in reference to the plan cally.
of an election by two degrees.