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A M ER I CAN REVIEW,
FOR SEPTEMBER, 1849.
SHORT CHAPTERS ON PUBLIC ECONOMY.
It arrived only at its perfect and full deConstitutionality.
velopment within the last few ages, and It is never to be lamented when men stands immoveable, by the accumulated are driven to search into the foundation of strength of all its past existence. It came the commonwealth ; as it is necessary for into perfect being, not by revolution, not the conduct of life that the divine and ab- by a change of principles, but by the nastract principles of virtue should have a tive force of an internal life, which impellconscious existence in the intellect, and ed it to throw off a foreign incumbrance, should be frequently agitated and discuss- and stand free in the vigor of independed; so, if we intend to maintain in their ant youth. It is a government of princioriginal purity and force, those ideas of ples, not of prescription, nor of forms. authority, of right, and of obedience, upon Its traditional forms are few; it did not which all government is founded, we must come down to us loaded with the corruptoften reflect, and induce others to reflect ions of former ages, to be maintained by upon them, in their simplicity. It is ne- the timid and condemned by the wise. cessary to revive and fortify the spirit of It is a government of necessity; it arose the Constitution by frequent recurrence to from necessity, and exists by necessity; it the rights and opinions upon which it is therefore not subvertible while its moral rests ; tracing these to their principles, and conditions exist. But the necessity which casting an historic glance upon those con- gave it birth is not that with which the ditions of society——those exigencies of hu- mathematics are conversant, nor the wants manity-from which they took their rise, and desires of the grosser nature of man. and through which they became appa- The necessity with which our laws are in rent; rights, in our own case, derived accordance is of a moral nature, and can be from a recognition of the imperious neces- found only in the operation of moral causes. sity of freedom to the full development of In the course of history, philosophers our nature; principles, grounded in human observe series of events signifying the exnature, tested by the experience of all | istence and operation of certain divine and time, and suggested as rules of legislation moral laws, by which the superior destiny from an observation of the evils that arose , of man is distinguished above his physical upon their absence. Ours is not an hypo- and
destiny. Governments thetical government; it was not erected founded like ours upon a recognition of upon an imaginary basis; the first fibres of of justice, of faith, of beneficence, of honits roots can be traced backward into the or, of liberty and of constancy, are imperdarkness of primeval liberty ; its growth | ishable governments; and die only with has been gradual through many centuries. the races which gave birth to them. VOL. IV. NO. III.