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Rei? Con 29, 1046
ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1833, by
NATHANIEL CHIPMAN, LL. D.
The subject of government has employed the pens of the first philosophers of every age, from the time of Plato and Aristotle to the present day. To hem the world are much indebted, especially to some of moderns. Vone of them, however, as far as recollection serves, have attent ed, or at east, have succeeded in an investigation of first principles; in ana's ring the ocial nature of man, and deducing from the relations thence resulung, the principles that ought to be pursued in the formation of civil institutions; and yet it is believed, this is the only certain ground of investigation, the only node in which any general, consistent, and practical principles in the science of government can be established. The greater number of those who have written on this subject have employed themselves in illustrating and recomnending the principles and form of some government, for which they had conceived a predilection ; while others in their theories have consulted the magination rather than the understanding. It will, therefore, be readily perceived that the theories and principles of neither class of these writers an be of general, much less of universal application ; that they cannot be upplied, at least, indiscriminately, to governments of a different construction, ind embracing different, and in many respects opposite principles. Such ire the civil avd political institutions of these United States; they differ in rinciples and construction very essentially from all that have preceded them. The Author convinced of that difference of principles and the excellence of ur institutions owing chiefly to that difference, published as early as the 'ear 1793, a small work entitled, “ Sketches of the Principles of Governpent," with a view of briefly illustrating the principles on which they are bunded. That little work which was well received at the time, has long veen out of print.
The Author had entertained a design, as no treatise had appeared fully mbracing the subject, of publishing a revised edition of that work; but on
review, he found it too limited in its plan, as well as deficient in arrangelent. He, therefore, resolved to new-cast the whole, to enlarge the plan,
give it a more regular and scientific arrangement, and as far as he was apable, to make it an elementary treatise on that kind of government which as been adopted in these United States. In the execution of this task, though the work consists principally of new and additional matter, the Aufor has in several instances, admitted portions of his former work with such orrections as were suggested by a long course of observations and experiice.