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Our North American colonies are in a profperous condition, increafing rapidly in population, and in opulence. The colonists have the spirit of a free people, and are enflamed with patriotifm. Their population will equal that of Britain and Ireland in less than a century; and they will then be a match for the mother-country, if they chufe to be independent: every advantage will be on their fide, as the attack must be by fea from a very great diftance. Being thus delivered from a foreign yoke, their first care will be the choice of a proper government; and it is not difficult to foresee what government will be chofen. A people animated with the new bleffings of liberty and independence, will not incline to a kingly government. The Swifs cantons joined in a federal union, for protection against the potent house of Auftria; and the Dutch embraced the like union, for protection gainst the more potent king of Spain. But our colonies will never join in fuch a union; because they have no potent neighbour, and because they have an averfion to each other. We may pronounce with affurance, that each colony will chufe for

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itself a republican government. And their prefent conftitution prepares them for it: they have a fenate; and they have an affembly representing the people. No change will be neceffary, but to drop the governor who represents the King of Britain. And thus a part of a great state will be converted into many fmall ftates.


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Neighbours, according to the common

saying, must be sweet friends or bitter enemies patriotifm is vigorous in fmall states; and hatred to neighbouring ftates, no less fo: both vanish in a great monarchy.

Like a maximum in mathematics, emulation has the finest play within certain bounds: it languisheth where its objects are too many, or too few. Hence it is, that the most heroic actions are performed in a state of moderate extent appetite for applaufe, or fame, may subsist in a great monarchy; but by that appetite, without the support of emulation, heroic actions are feldom atchieved.

Small ftates, however corrupted, are not liable to defpotifm: the people being close to the feat of government, and accuftomed to fee their governors daily, talk familiarly of their errors, and publish


them every where. On Spain, which formerly confifted of many small states, a profound writer (a) makes the following obfervation. "The petty monarch was "but little elevated above his nobles: ha

ving little power, he could not com"mand much refpect; nor could his no❝bles look up to him with that reverence "which is felt in approaching great mo"narchs." Another thing is equally weighty against defpotifm in a small ftate: the army cannot easily be separated from the people; and, for that reason, is very little dangerous. The Roman pretorian bands were billeted in the towns near Rome; and three cohorts only were employed in guarding that city. Sejanus, prefect of thefe bands under Tiberius, lodged the three cohorts in a fpacious barrack within the city, in order to gain more authority over them, and to wean them from familiarity with the people. Tacitus, in the 4th book of his Annals, relates the story in the following words. "præfecturæ, modicam antea, intendit, difperfas per urbem cohortes una in caftra conducendo; ut fimul imperia ac

(a) Dr Robertfon.



"ciperent, numeroque et robore, et vifu, "inter fe, fiducia ipfis, in cæteros metus, <6 crearetur *

What is faid above, fuggefts the caufe of a curious fact recorded in ancient hiftory, "That of many attempts to ufurp "the fovereignty of different Greek re66 publics, very few fucceeded; and that no "ufurpation of that kind was lafting." Every circumftance differs in an extensive state: the people, at a distance from the throne, and having profound veneration for the fovereign, confider themselves, not as members of a body-politic, but as subjects merely, bound implicitly to obey: by which impreffion they are prepared before-hand for defpotifm. Other reasons concur the fubjects of a great ftate are dazzled with the fplendor of their monarch; and as their union is prevented by

*He extended the power of the prefecture, by "collecting into one camp thofe pretorian cohorts "which were formerly difperfed all over the city; "that thus, being united, they might be more influen"ced by his orders, and while their confidence in "their power was increafed by the conftant view of "their own numbers and ftrength, they might at the "fame time strike a great terror in others."


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