Various expedients have been proposed to remedy these evils, but none have succeeded. Does Brutus make a strong case for the momentousness of the choice facing Americans? Both of these, it is true, in process of time extended their conquests over large territories of country and the consequence was that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world. Views Read Edit View history. There are many objections, of small moment, of which I shall take no notice — perfection is not to be expected in any thing that is the production of man — and if I did not in my conscience believe that this scheme was defective in the fundamental principles — in the foundation upon which a free and equal government must rest — I would hold my peace. If this be not the case, there will be a constant clashing of opinions; and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. But if, on the other hand, this form of government contains principles that will lead to the subversion of liberty — if it tends to establish a despotism, or, what is worse, a tyrannic aristocracy; then, if you adopt it, this only remaining asylum for liberty will be [shut] up, and posterity will execrate your memory.
It is proper here to remark, that the authority to lay and collect taxes is the most important of any power that can be granted; it connects with it almost all other powers, or at least will in process of time draw all other after it; it is the great mean of protection, security, and defence, in a good government, and the great engine of oppression and tyranny in a bad one. These papers argued against the new Constitution, then being considered for ratification by the states. Every one who has thought on the subject, must be convinced that but small sums of money can be collected in any country, by direct taxes[; hence,] when the federal government begins to exercise the right of taxation in all its parts, the legislatures of the several states will find it impossible to raise monies to support their governments. Perhaps this country never saw so critical a period in their political concerns. Now, in a large extended country, it is impossible to have a representation, possessing the sentiments, and of integrity, to declare the minds of the people, without having it so numerous and unwieldly, as to be subject in great measure to the inconveniency of a democratic government. The question then will be, whether a government thus constituted, and founded on such principles, is practicable, and can be exercised over the whole United States, reduced into one state?
With these few introductory remarks I shall proceed to a consideration of this constitution: In a free republic, although all laws are derived from the consent of the people, yet the people do not declare their consent by themselves in person, but by representatives, chosen by them, who are supposed to know the minds of their constituents, and to be possessed of integrity to declare this mind.
If then this new constitution is calculated to consolidate the 13 states into one, as it evidently is, it ought not to be adopted. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over every thing that stands in their way.
Brutus I – Teaching American History
Could a widely dispersed and diverse people be united under one government without sacrificing the blessings of liberty and self-government? If the constitution, offered to your acceptance, be a wise one, calculated to preserve the invaluable blessings of liberty, to secure the inestimable rights of mankind, and promote human happiness, then, if you accept it, you will lay a lasting foundation of happiness for millions yet unborn; generations to come will rise up and call you blessed.
He believes the power to hold a standing army in peacetime as evil and highly dangerous to public liberty. To the Citizens of the State of New-York. So, he’s saying hey, look, there’s really no precedent for this. He also objects to Congress taking part in appointing officers and impeachment as it gives them both executive and judicial powers and he deems such blurring of the branches as dangerous In every government, the will of the sovereign is the law.
It has authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, and property of every man in the United States; nor can the constitution or laws of any state, in any way prevent or impede the full and complete execution of every power given. If you have to have representatives that represent such a large territory, they’re going to be detached from the people that they’re representing and then are just going to think about their own aggrandization and they will actually oppress the people that they’re supposed to represent.
In despotic governments, as well as in all the monarchies of Europe, standing armies are kept up to execute the commands of the prince or the magistrate, and are employed for this purpose when occasion requires: A free republic will never keep a standing army to execute its laws. We have felt the feebleness of the ties by which these United States are held together, and the want of sufficient energy in our present confederation, to manage, in some instances, our general concerns.
Does Brutus make a strong case for the momentousness of the choice facing Americans? But remember, when the people once part with power, they can seldom or never resume it again but by force. This disposition, which summaru implanted in human nature, will operate in the federal legislature to lessen and ultimately to subvert the state authority, and having such advantages, will most certainly anit-federalist, if the federal government succeeds at all.
If the constitution, offered to [your acceptance], be a wise one, calculated to preserve the invaluable blessings of liberty, to secure the inestimable rights of mankind, and promote human happiness, then, if you accept it, you will lay a lasting foundation of happiness for millions yet unborn; generations to come will rise up and call you blessed.
The powers of these courts are very extensive; their jurisdiction comprehends all civil causes, except such as arise between citizens of the same state; and it extends to all cases in law brutua equity arising under the constitution.
Hence the government will be nerveless and inefficient, and no way will be anti-federwlist to render it otherwise, but by establishing an armed force to execute anti-federallst laws at the point of the bayonet — a government of all others the most to be dreaded. In despotic governments, the supreme authority being lodged in one, his will is law, and can be as easily expressed to a large extensive territory as to a small one.
These are some of the reasons by which it appears that a free republic cannot long subsist over a country of the great extent of these states. So, to the founding fathers, the idea of a republic was really a representative democracy and Brutus here is questioning, look, if you’re governing over such a vast territory, can you have a representation that will truly speak the sentiments of the people and if you do anti-fedsralist true representation of the people, well, are you going to have so many representatives and so many interests that they’re not going to be able to govern?
We have felt the summry of the ties by which these United-States are held together, and the want of sufficient energy in our present confederation, to manage, in some instances, our general concerns.
They will use the power, when they have acquired it, to the purposes of gratifying their own interest and ambition, and it is scarcely possible, in a very large republic, to call them to account for their misconduct, or to prevent their abuse of power.
In a republic, the manners, sentiments and interests of the people should be similar. It depicts Clio, the muse of History, holding a book in which she records events as they unfold.
In the business therefore of laying and collecting taxes, the idea of confederation is totally lost, and that of one entire republic is embraced. It has the anti-federlist to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, and property of every man in the United States, nor can brktus constitution or laws of any state in any way prevent or impede the full and complete execution of every power given.
In a large republic there are men of large fortunes, and consequently of less moderation; there are trusts too great to #11 placed in any single subject; he has interest of his own; he soon begins to think that he may be happy, great and glorious, by oppressing his fellow citizens; and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country.
The judicial power of the United States is to be vested in a supreme court, and in such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
The question then will be, whether a government thus constituted, and founded on such principles, is practicable, and can be exercised over the whole United States, reduced into one state?
There are many objections, of small moment, of which I shall take no notice — perfection is not to be expected in any thing that is the production of man — and if I did not in my conscience believe that this scheme was defective in the fundamental principles — in the foundation upon which a free and equal government must rest — I would hold my peace.
So, once again, saying hey, this is a takeover, these 13 states are really becoming anti-federalizt state under the constitution. The trust committed to the executive offices, in a country of the extent of the United-States, must be various and of magnitude.