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Essay on “The Science of Politics” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

The Science of Politics

 

Do the forms of government affect administration is a question of interest to many. It is true; those who maintain , that the goodness of all government consists in the goodness of the administration , may cite many particular instances in history, where the very same government, in different hands, has varied suddenly into the two opposite extremes of good  and bad. Compare the French under Henry III and under Henry IV. Oppression, levity, artifice on the part of the rulers; faction, sedition, treachery, rebellion, disloyalty on the part of the subjects: these compose the character of the former miserable era. But when the patriot and heroic prince, who succeeded, was once family  seated on the throne, the government , the people every thing seemed to be totally changed; and all from the difference of the temper and conduct of  these two sovereign. Instances of this kind may be multiplied, almost without number, from ancient as well as modern history, foreign as well as domestic.

But here it may be proper to make a distinction. All absolute governments must very much depend on the administration; and this is one of the great inconveniences attending that form of government. But a republication and free government would be an obvious absurdity, if the particular checks and controls, provided by the constitution, had really no influence, and made it not the interest, even of bad men , to act for the public good. Such is the where they are wisely constituted: as on the other hand, they are the source of all disorder, and of the heinous crimes, where either skill or honesty has been wanting in their original frame and institution.

So great is the force of laws, and of particular forms of government, and so little dependence have they on the humours and tempers of men, that consequences almost as general and certain may sometimes be deduced from them, as any which the mathematical sciences afford us.  

The constitution of the Roman republic gave the whole legislative power to the people, without allowing a negative voice either to the nobility or consuls. This unbounded power they possessed in a collective, not in a representative body. The consequences were: when the people, by success and conquest, had become very numerous, and had spread themselves to a great distance from the capital, the city- tribes, though the most contemptible, carried almost every vote: they were supported in idleness by the general distribution of corn, and by particular bribes, which they received from almost every candidate: Armed slaves were introduced among these rascally citizens; so that the whole government fell into anarchy, and the greatest happiness, which the Romans could look for, was the despotic power of the Caesars, such are the effects of democracy without a representative.

A nobility may possess the whole, or any part of the legislative power of a state, in two different ways. Either every nobleman shares the power as part of the whole body, or the whole body enjoys the power as composed of parts, which have each a distinct power and authority. The Venetian aristocracy is an instance of the first kind of government: the Polish of the second. In the Venetian government the whole   body of nobility possesses the whole power, and no nobleman has any authority, which he receives not from the whole. In the Polish government every nobleman, by means of his fiefs, has a distinct hereditary authority over his vassals, and the whole body has no authority but what it  receives from the concurrence of its parts. The different operations and tendencies of these two species of government might be made apparent even a prior. A nobility, who possess their power in  common, will preserve peace and order, both among themselves , and their subjects; and no member can have authority enough to control the laws for a moment. The nobles will preserve their authority over the people, but without any grievous tyranny, or any breach of private property; because such a tyrannical government promotes not the interests of the whole body, however it may that of some individuals. There will be a distinction of rank between the nobility and people, but this will be the only distinction in the state. The whole nobility will form one body, and the whole people another, without any of those private feuds and animosities, which spread ruin and desolation everywhere. It is easy to see the disadvantages of a polish nobility in every one of these particulars. A constitution in which nobility, king and people support and balance each other seems the best suited to the weal of the state.      

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