Tuesday, October 02, 2007


...Upon this wretch, man, however wicked he may be, nature has unequivocally bestowed one boon. This blessing, the hereditary system proposes to deprive him of; our policy uses it as the principle of civil government; it is the right of self preservation. No other government, ancient or modern, has fairly provided for the safety of this right. In all others, it is fettered by compounds of orders or separate interests; by force or by fraud. Between governments which leave to nations the right of self preservation, and those which destroy it, we must take our stand, to determine on which side the preference lies. A coincident view of happiness and misery, will presently transform this line, into a wide gulf, on the farther side of which, we shall behold the governed of all other nations, expressing their agonies. Shall we go to them, because they cannot come to us? ....

...Let us return from this digression, if it be one, to the comparison we have undertaken. Mr. Adams’s system is incapable of a division of rights between a nation and a government. This idea is incompatible with hereditary, but conformable to responsible power. It is incompatible with natural orders, but conformable to natural rights. And it is incompatible with the opinion, that the people are no guardians, but conformable to the opinion, that they are the best guardians of their own liberty. Therefore his system annihilates that sacred effort of our policy, to withhold powers useless or pernicious; and to secure rights necessary for the preservation of liberty, or without the office of governments. Among these, the rights of bearing arms, of religion, and of discussion, constitute of themselves a measureless superiority in our policy, over any other, unable, by reason of different principles, to place them beyond the reach of government; as we shall presently endeavour to prove....

...To assert, without enforcing this doctrine, would be equivalent to its relinquishment. Even Mr. Adams is willing nominally to admit it, in his virtual representative quality of hereditary orders. This idea is an admission of national rights independent of government; but it confides them to the custody of the idea only. How far they have been actually secured by hereditary power, in discharge of its supposed representative duties, depends upon a fact, to which all history testifies....

...National rights and national opinion, cannot really exist, without powers for defending the one, and organs for expressing the other. The system of orders must shew these or confess that they have provided for neither, and that it uses the terms as decoy phantoms to delude nations within its grasp. The policy of the United States, exhibits its militia, its right of bearing arms, its rights retained, its right of instruction, and its inclusive right of abolishing the entire government....

- John Taylor, An Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States, Section the Sixth, (1814).

John Taylor (born Dec. 19?, 1753, Caroline county, Va. — died Aug. 21, 1824, Caroline county, Va., U.S.) U.S. politician. He served in the Continental Army (1775 – 79) and the Virginia militia (1781) in the American Revolution. A strong advocate of states' rights, he opposed ratification of the U.S. Constitution. He was a member of the U.S. Senate (1792 – 94, 1803, 1822 – 24), and he introduced the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in the Virginia legislature (1798). A supporter of Thomas Jefferson, he wrote essays on the importance of maintaining an agrarian democracy as a defense against the development of an overly powerful central government. - Britannica Concise Encyclopedia



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