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already been given. The safety of the people is the supreme law: their liberties properly regulated and secured are the cardinal objects of republican constitutions. Those who have evinced the capacity to abuse a public trust ought not to have a second opportunity to do so. If it were possible to remove the disqualification thus solemnly imposed, the state might be thrown into disorder ; factions in favour of the delinquent be formed; contrary pretensions be warmly, perhaps forcibly asserted—and the bloody, civic contests of ancient Rome might be renewed on the polluted arena of a modern and a temperate republic. It is infinitely preferable that one man should be meritedly deprived of part of the rights and privileges of citizenship, than that the peace and happiness of the whole community should be endangered.
The sentence itself is at the utmost a mild one; but the object of it is still liable to the ordinary process of justice. If his crime should be of that high class which subjects him to the forfeiture of life, the president for the time being still possesses the power to prevent its infliction. The individual with the accumulated weight of two convictions, might safely be pardoned in respect to the second. He never could again become .an object of public confidence.
To these views of the checks upon this office, we may add the power of the people, when the quadrennial period of election returns, to remove him, whose conduct, although it may not have amounted to actual delinquency, has excited even their suspicion.
Referring, without repeating it, to the last chapter, we may thus recognise in every part of the Constitution those cautious provisions, forming adequate checks on every power it confers, restraining all from doing wrong, yet not productive of an inconvenient interference with each other when all do right; contributing to preserve a necessary purity and vigour, and rendering the mere distribution of power the means of correcting its abuse.
OF THE PERMANENCE OF THE UNION.
Quassata respublica multa perderet et ornamenta dignitatis et præsidia stabilitatis suæ. Oratio pro Marcello.
Having thus endeavoured to delineate the general features of this peculiar and invaluable form of government, we shall conclude with adverting to the principles of its cohesion, and to the provisions it contains for its own duration and extension.
The subject cannot perhaps be better introduced than by presenting in its own words an emphatical clause in the Constitution.
The United States shall guarantee to every state in the Union a republican form of government, shall protect each of them against invasion, and on application of the legislature, or of the executive when the legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence.
The Union is an association of the people of republics; its preservation is calculated to depend on the preservation of those republics. The people of each pledge themselves to preserve that form of government in all. Thus each becomes responsible to the rest, that no other form of government shall prevail in it, and all are bound to preserve it in every one.
But the mere compact, without the power to enforce it, would be of little value. Now this power can be no where so
properly lodged, as in the Union itself. Hence, the term guarantee, indicates that the United States are authorized to oppose, and if possible, prevent every state in the Union from relinquishing the republican form of government, and as auxiliary means, they are expressly authorized and required to employ their force on the application of the constituted authorities of each state, "to repress domestic violence.” If a faction should attempt to subvert the government of a state for the purpose of destroying its republican form, the paternal power of the Union could thus be called forth to subdue it.
Yet it is not to be understood, that its interposition would be justifiable, if the people of a state should determine to retire from the Union, whether they adopted another or retained the same form of government, or if they should, with the express intention of seceding, expunge the representative system from their code, and thereby incapacitate themselves from concurring according to the mode now prescribed, in the choice of certain public officers of the United States.
The principle of representation, although certainly the wisest and best, is not essential to the being of a republic, but to continue a member of the Union, it must be preserved, and therefore the guarantee must be so construed. It depends on the state itself to retain or abolish the principle of representation, because it depends on itself whether it will continue a member of the Union. To deny this right would be inconsistent with the principle on which all our political systems are founded, which is, that the people have in all cases, a right to determine how they will be governed.
This right must be considered as an ingredient in the original composition of the general government, which, though not expressed, was mutually understood, and the doctrine heretofore presented to the reader in regard to the indefeasible nature of personal allegiance, is so far qualified in respect to allegiance
to the United States. It was observed, that it was competent for a state to make a compact with its citizens, that the recip-. rocal obligations of protection and allegiance might cease on certain events; and it was further observed, that allegiance would necessarily cease on the dissolution of the society to which it was due.
The states, then, may wholly withdraw from the Union, but while they continue, they must retain the character of representative republics. Governments of dissimilar forms and principles cannot long maintain a binding coalition. “Greece,” says Montesquieu,“ was undone as soon as the king of Macedon obtained a seat in the amphyctionic council."* It is probable, however, that the disproportionate force as well as the monarchical form of the new confederate had its share of influence in the event. But whether the historical fact supports the theory or not, the principle in respect to ourselves is unquestionable.
We have associated as republics. Possessing the power to form monarchies, republics were preferred and instituted. The history of the ancient, and the state of the present world, are before us. Of modern republics, Venice, Florence, the United Provinces, Genoa, all but Switzerland have disappeared. They have sunk beneath the power of monarchy, impatient at beholding the existence of any other form than its own.
An injured province of Turkey, recalling to its mind the illustrious deeds of its ancestors, has ventured to resist its oppressors, and with a revival of the name of Greece, a hope is entertained of the permanent institution of another republic. But monarchy stands by with a jealous aspect, and fearful lest its own power should be endangered by the revival of the maxim, that sovereignty can ever reside in the people, affects a cold neutrality, with the probable anticipation that it will
* Fe;leralist, No. 43.
conduce to barbarian 'success. Yet that gallant country, it is trusted, will persevere. An enlightened people, disciplined through necessity, and emboldened even by the gloom of its prospects, may accomplish what it would not dare to hope.*
This abstract principle, this aversion to the extension of republican freedom, is now invigorated and enforced by an alliance avowedly for the purpose of overpowering all efforts to relieve mankind from their shackles. It is essentially and professedly the exaltation of monarchies over republics, and even over every alteration in the forms of monarchy, tending to acknowledge or secure the rights of the people. The existence of such a combination warrants and requires that in some part of the civilized world, the republican system should be able to defend itself. But this would be impersectly done, by the erection of separate, independent, though contiguous governments. They must be collected into a body, strong in proportion to the firmness of its union; respected and feared in proportion to its strength. The principle on which alone the Union is rendered valuable, and which alone can continue it, is the preservation of the republican form.
In what manner this guaranty shall be effectuated is not explained, and it presents a question of considerable nicety and importance.
Not a word in the Constitution is intended to be inoperative, and one so significant as the present was not lightly inserted. The United States are therefore bound to carry it into effect whenever the occasion arises, and finding as we do, in the same
Since this passage was written, the affairs of Greece have assumed somewhat of a different aspect. The Turkish fleet has been accidentally destroyed by the combined powers, and the French have landed a body of men, with an apparent intention to promote the independence of this afflicted country,