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stances, inadvertently perhaps, upon the very track which, as history shows, guided to the downfall of bygone republics, instead of improving what was begun so nobly half a century ago. Thus we think it not superfluous to lead the attention of our readers to this most important subject.
2. Self-government is either personal or social.
3. Men acquire personal self-government by Education, Instruction, and Industry, in the most comprehensive sense of these words. By means of education, instruction and industry, and only with their help, we become intelligent, virtuous, useful and independent men, and able to govern ourselves for our benefit and that of others. The end of all education, instruction and industry, must be goodness, intelligence and independence, from which originates personal self-government.* It is true that virtue lies at the foundation of personal goodness; still the notion of virtue implies not exactly that energy of character which chiefly makes a self-governing man. Louis XVI., king of France, is said to have been a virtuous man, but most certainly he was not a self-governing man; otherwise he would have braved the storm of the French Revolution.
Thus, it is evident, that personal self-government is more than virtue. The notion we gave of self-government shows, that a self-governing man not only is a perfect man, but also a perfect member of human society, who does not permit himself to be guided by others, as they please, either by the sword or by any other force, because he is able, and always ready to guide himself personally alone, and, of course, will respect the same quality in others. Hence it follows, that personal self-government will have a thorough peaceable tendency. In proportion as personal or individual government becomes universal, in the same proportion social government will be less necessary.
4. Social self-government originates in families. Our race consists of families, and is perpetuated by them. They are the little natural states, where the labor of education and instruction is chiefly done, both of which lead to industry. Men who like the wild Indians are without education and instruction are also destitute of industry. The establishing of families, the providing of the manifold requisites for their support, the multifarious occupations hence originating, produce conflicts, which make forms and rules and
* Also called Self-control, Self-rule, Self-dominion.
laws necessary, the knowledge and observance of which are indispensable for self-government. All do not know them, and if they do, are not always inclined to obey them, (in consequence of want of personal self-government,) hence originates that kind of business, which generally is called public business, or civil government, state business, &c.
Where personal self-government in a great measure is wanting, as in Mexico or South America, and in most European countries, this public business (state business,) is rather in a deplorable state, and conducted mostly according to one or the other principles of physical force, which necessarily leads to subjection. It is in vain to expect that the public business will ever be done in a fair way among men who do not understand how to govern themselves, or, in other words, to take good care of themselves.
5. The (physical and moral) education of our young is the first business we have to examine in regard to the principle of self-government. It is one of the most important duties men have to accomplish, and requires chiefly the unwavering care and unceasing attention of woman, whereas they take no active part in public affairs. It is true that in America, education is left more nearly free than any where else. The interference of ecclesiastical institutions, perhaps only the Catholic excepted, is not of great consequence. But there are nevertheless several instances, where the laws and activity of public officers are not in strict conformity with self-government in regard to the liberty of education. We mention first the Orphan Asylums. Orphans ought not to be crowded into houses together, but educated in families. Further, our states begin to interfere, more and more, with the liberty of education, in regard to elementary schools. It is the right and duty of parents (guardians,) to take care of the schooling of their offspring, and not the business of the state.
6. Instruction, the other great lever of self-government, may be either elementary, religious (churches,) moral, scientific, mechanic, or otherwise, and is also mostly depending on parents (guardians.) When they are not able to accomplish it alone they may engage teachers or masters to do it. True, self-governing men never will neglect this duty. The interference of states in the business of education and instruction leads to centralization,
TOGETHER WITH GENERAL PLANS OF A
AND A CONSTITUTION FOR A
CONFEDERATION OF STATES,
FOUNDED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF SELF-GOVERNMENT;
TWO EXTRACTS, ONE FROM THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA. THE OTHER FROM THAT OF THE STATE OF KENTUCKY.
TO WHICH IS ADDED
THE NEW CONSTITUTION OF
THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
EXAMINED ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLE OF SELF-GOVERNMENT.
By M A Richter & Vantucket.
"For he who values liberty, confines
"We have no strength except upon great principles."-ELIHU BURRITT.
published BY CROSBY & NICHOLS, 111 WASHINGTON STREET, AND OTIS CLAPP, 12 SCHOOL STREET.