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violence, or the fear of it, and has continued to exist only because its enemies had not the force requisite to overthrow it. If there is not in the state a power of resistance by two or more of the colliding forces of society, it follows that the most powerful element is in reality the ruling body in the state, and that the other constitutional powers act as feeble checks upon it. They are no longer powers militant, for one is a power triumphant. When such a state of things exists the constitution has lost its vital principle, — the principle of compromise, and exists only by the sufferance of the superior party. They have lost the safeguard against that political degeneration which is caused by the appropriation of public offices and the distribution of public property to serve the purposes of a class. The common desire to avoid such a calamity induces that perpetual jealousy which is so necessary for the maintenance of the constitution, and may excuse a defeated party for crying ruin upon every little reverse of their own. Thus the Reform Bill of 1832, and the Revolution of 1688, were both inveighed against as destructive to the constitution, because they were carried against the wishes of a great political party, and had, therefore, in their eyes, a direct tendency to destroy the equilibrium of counterbalancing powers, though, in effect, they secured that equilibrium, because the defeated party had previously more power than was its share. Thus it is a maxim of practical politics, often in recent times neglected, but never violated without disaster, that not only is a constitutional monarchy the proper, form of government for nations where the chief elements of civilisation opposite but not contrary to each other are simultaneously and equally developed, but also that simultaneous and equal development is necessary for the existence of constitutional monarchy.

There are three classes of nations in their acme.

1st. Those in which all the social elements proper to that stage of national development co-exist, and where a

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constitutional monarchy gives effect to them, and affords the natural and proper governmental machinery.

2nd. Those in which all the social elements proper to that stage of natural development co-exist, but where there is no constitutional monarchy.

3rd. Where some of these social elements are wanting, and the national development is, therefore, strikingly imperfect.

Of the first, England is the most perfect example. Let us illustrate the second by considering the state of France before the Revolution. There was a powerful monarch ; there was a body of hereditary aristocrats, who had been, and might have continued to be, formidable to the king ; there were industrious, educated, and wealthy traders ; all the materials out of which the English constitution has been formed--all the forces of society whose collision strikes out the bright spark of national splendour; but to the last was denied the political power which their wealth and influence gave them the capacity of forcibly demanding; and the aristocracy, descending to be courtiers, threw the weight of their influence entirely against the populace; and hence, from the simple violation of the principle that the balance of power should coincide with the balance of property, came the Revolution. Now, subsequently, France desired a constitution, and consummated a miserable failure. For the French constitution of 1830 found in that country no body like the peers of England, great territorial potentates, who include in their order the men most distinguished for solid and substantial wealth, and those eminent for high descent, as well as the choicest of those who have been the most illustrious in their generation for personal acquirements ; forming together a compact and distinct body which, by its hereditary rights, is totally independent of the crown. The French aristocracy of 1830 were, on the contrary, altogether deficient in this independent power and honourable prestige. The peerage being for life only, and its possessors incapable of holding


large landed estates, they were necessarily dependent on the crown, and, beyond the power of exercising a constitutional right, their voice carried no weight with it. The consequence was, that all France divided into two parties,

crown and people,—the new phantom aristocracy naturally exercising whatever little power it had for the interest of their sovereign, on whom every peer was in some degree dependent. France, therefore, both before and after the Revolution, supports the proposition, that an incongruity between the form of government and the social elements of the state ends only in disaster. In the one case there was an aristocratical-monarchical government where there should have been a constitution like the English: in the other there was a constitution like the English, where there should have been either a centralised republic or an empire.

Now, of the third class of nations in their acme, viz. where some of the social elements are wanting, the examples are extremely numerous, and their diversity such that no two examples are alike, for none falls short of perfection in exactly the same point and to the same degree as another nation does.

Of all imperfect developments, that of Germany has been at once the most striking and the most perplexing to an inquirer who desires to understand the causes of social movements. The imperfection of German development arises not from the absence of any one of the social elements, but from the dislocated manner in which they have each pursued a separate and independent development. Instead of the aristocratic and democratic elements pursuing, as it were, on the same soil and in the same nation, their natural tendencies, it seemed as if, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the two elements belonged to a different people and a different land. The great mass of Germany remained under the sway of rude, feudal, and disunited barons, sometimes calling themselves kings and reigning dukes, acknowledging the Emperor as

their elected head; while outside this organisation rose the free cities, which became the seats of riches, arts, and knowledge. But their effect on German civilisation was not to advance Germany as a whole to a constitutional period, but they segregated themselves from the rest of the mass, and rose, like Venice and the Dutch cities, as if there had been no feudal noblesse belonging to the same nation. The thirty years' war marks the epoch of their decay. The serfs of aristocratic Germany, left untouched by these cities, collected, after the lapse of many years, and in obedience to the same principles which had collected their populations into the old free towns, into other cities which arose to form a new democratic and plutocratic element in Germany. The old central head — the Emperor — exists no longer; and the baronies, either singly or by lumping two or three together, have become independent kingdoms, centralised autocracies, with no other check upon their authority than the now rising plutocracies of Berlin, Vienna, and other great towns.

These free cities of which I have spoken (called also imperial cities because, as in other national developments, they obtained their freedom against the aristocracy by the favour of the central head,) so separated themselves from all the rest of Germany, which then remained a country of feudal aristocrats and agricultural serfs, that they must be regarded as in fact a little separate nation, rising into existence by trade and commerce, and harbouring within it no elements but the democratic, blended afterwards with the plutocracy which grew up within them. So complete is now their self-created isolation from the rest of Germany, that they, or at least the principal of them, speak none but the Dutch language, which paliwa was formed from, and is close akin to Low German, and to this Dutch dialect their writers gave a fixity and rank, while energetic rising German genius speaks High German, a language only just now brought to a pitch of literary refinement, and the lower orders speak the old

Low German. The Dutch language, like the Hans Towns and the cities of Holland, has reached its utmost development, and will change only to be corrupted. The High German, spoken at Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, and the other towns of advancing Germany, can hardly yet be considered a perfected or completed language. Like the people who speak it, it is in process of development. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries these free cities were distinguished by all the characteristics of nations in the stage of mixed plutocracy and democracy. They had riches, arts, both the useful and the fine, knowledge, commerce, luxury, much reading, but no true literature (which is no production of commercial towns), and they all perished from the same reason, which has brought every other nation in that stage to its decay — corruption of character. Those cities in which the plutocratic element (erroneously called aristocratic) was supreme were devoured by a close jealous and dishonest oligarchy, those in which the democratic element prevailed were ruined by venality and cabal, and both alike were obliged repeatedly to invoke the Emperor's authority to quiet their dishonest factions. Commerce soon left them, and with it greatness. They sank out of note and left the raw material of democratic power, which existed in the then ignorant and agricultural serfs of Germany, to be worked up after a long interval into a new class of rich, refined, and powerful citizens.

Imperfect developments are thus caused not merely by the total absence of some national element, but also by its development at a wrong time, so that when the other elements are ready to form the national acme, this one has spent its force. As in Germany a portion of the democratic element developed and spent itself prematurely, so in France it was checked and kept back too long.

When a full national development has once begun, it may be checked by the subsequent defect of any one of the national elements : monarchy may be destroyed, as in

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