Principles Of Government: A Treatise On Free Institutions

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Da Capo Press, 1970 - 374 páginas
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1833. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VIII. Observations on the tendency in government to dissolution, from a corruption of its principles.--Plan of reformation incorporated in the constitution.--Its probable effects in perpetuating its duration..Montesquieu, speaking of that kind of government, which was established through Europe try the conquerors of the Roman Empire, says--" It was a good government that had in itself a capacity of growing better." This capacity of growing better was not the effect of any direct intention of the founders, nor, if perceived, was its cultivation, generally, an object of pursuit. Accordingly, we have seen this kind of government almost universally, degenerating into a species of despotism, under an absolute monarchy, or an aristocracy equally absolute. If any of those governments have admitted improvements, these improvements never have been deliberately made, in consequence of any plan of reformation adopted in the constitution. They have been constantly introduced by violence, or, in a concurrence of circumstances, little, if at all intended or foreseen. Notwithstanding the foregoing observation of Montesquieu, he appears to join in the opinion, which has very generally prevailed, that governments, like men, carry in themselves from their very origin, the seeds of dissolution; that man is fatally incapable of forming any which shall endure without degenerating. I am, however, apprehensive, that on enquiry, we may, so far as it relates to government, find reason to doubt the correctness of this opinion. A more general development of the laws of social nature, and the principles resulting from those laws, may discover, that although in the infancy of mankind, from which, perhaps, those nations who have made the greatest advances, have hardly emerged, ...

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BOOK I
1
Of man as formed for the social state
9
Of the appetite or propensity for society the appetite which leads to the pro
16
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