American Constitutional Development
American Constitutional Development PSC 2302
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Date Created: 10/03/15
The LEVIATHAN Thomas Hobbes CHAPTER XIII OF THE NATURALL CONDITION OF MANKIND AS CONCERNING THEIR FELICITY AND MISERY Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that though there bee found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind then another yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any bene t to which another may not pretend as well as he For as to the strength of body the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself From Equality Proceeds Diffrdence From this equality of ability arises an equality of hope in the attaining of our Ends And therefore if any two men desire the same thing which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy they become enemies and in the way to their End which is principally their own conservation and sometimes their delectation only endeavor to destroy or subdue one another And from hence it comes to pass that where an Invader hath no more to fear than an other mans single power if one plant sow build or possess a convenient Seat others may probably be expected to come prepared with forces united to dispossess and deprive him not only of the fruit of his labor but also of his life or liberty And the Invader again is in the like danger of another From Diffrdence War And from this diffidence of one another there is no way for any man to secure himself so reasonable as by force or wiles to master the persons of all men he can so long till he see no other power great enough to endanger him And this is no more than his own conservation requires and is generally allowed Also because there be some that taking pleasure in contemplating their own power in the acts of conquest which they pursue farther than their security requires if others that otherwise would be glad to be at ease within modest bounds should not by invasion increase their power they would not be able long time by standing only on their defense to subsist And by consequence such augmentation of dominion over men being necessary to a mans conservation it ought to be allowed him Again men have no pleasure but on the contrary a great deal of grief in keeping company where there is no power able to overawe them all For every man cares that his companion should value him at the same rate he sets upon himself And upon all signs of contempt or undervaluing naturally endeavors as far as he dares which amongst them that have no common power to keep them in quiet is far enough to make them destroy each other to extort a greater value from others by the example There Is Always War Of Every One Against Every One Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe they are in that condition which is called War and such a war as is of every man against every man For WAR consists not in Battle only or the act of ghting but in a tract of time wherein the Will to contend by Battle is sufficiently known and therefore the notion of Time is to be considered in the nature of War as it is in the nature of Weather For as the nature of Foul weather lies not in a shower or two of rain but in an inclination thereto of many days together So the nature of War consists not in actual ghting but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary All other time is PEACE The Incommodites Of Such A War Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of War where every man is Enemy to every man the same is consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal In such condition there is no place for Industry because the fruit thereof is uncertain and consequently no Culture of the Earth no Navigation nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea no commodious Building no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force no Knowledge of the face of the Earth no account of Time no Arts no Letters no Society and which is worst of all continual fear and danger of violent death and the life of man solitary poor nasty brutish and sh ort It may seem strange to some man that has not well weighed these things that Nature should thus dissociate and render men apt to invade and destroy one another and he may therefore not trusting to this Inference made from the Passions desire perhaps to have the same confirmed by Experience Let him therefore consider with himself when taking a journey he arms himself and seeks to go well accompanied when going to sleep he locks his doors when even in his house he locks his chests and this when he knows there bee Laws and public Officers aimed to revenge all injuries shall bee done him what opinion he has of his fellow subjects when he rides armed of his fellow Citizens when he locks his doors and of his children and servants when he locks his chests Does he not there as much accuse mankind by his actions as I do by my words But neither of us accuse mans nature in it The Desires and other Passions of man are in themselves no Sin No more are the Actions that proceed from those Passions till they know a Law that forbids them which till Laws be made they cannot know nor can any Law be made till they have agreed upon the Person that shall make it It may peradventure be thought there was never such a time nor condition of war as this and Ibelieve it was never generally so over all the world but there are many places where they live so now For the savage people in many places of America except the government of small Families have no government at all and live at this day in that brutish manner as I said before Howsoever it may be perceived what manner of life there would be where there were no common Power to fear by the manner of life which men that have formerly lived under a peaceful government use to degenerate into in a civil War But though there had never been any time wherein particular men were in a condition of war one against another yet in all times Kings and persons of sovereign authority have had their Forts Garrisons and Guns upon the Frontiers of their Kingdoms and continual Spies upon their neighbors which is a posture of War But because they uphold thereby the Industry of their Subjects there does not follow from it that misery which accompanies the Liberty of particular men In Such A War Nothing Is Unjust To this war of every man against every man this also is consequent that nothing can be Unjust The notions of Right and Wrong Justice and Injustice have there no place Where there is no common Power there is no Law where no Law no Injustice Force and Fraud are in war the two Cardinal virtues It is consequent also to the same condition that there be no Propriety no Dominion no Mine and Thine distinct but only that to be every mans that he can get and for so long as he can keep it And thus much for the ill condition which man by mere Nature is actually placed in though with a possibility to come out of it consisting partly in the Passions partly in his Reason The Passions That Incline Men To Peace The Passions that incline men to Peace are Fear of Death Desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living and a Hope by their Industry to obtain them And Reason suggests convenient Articles of Peace upon which men may be drawn to agreement These Articles are they which otherwise are called the Laws of Nature CHAPTER XIV OF THE FIRST AND SECOND NATURAL LAWS AND OF CONTRACTS On What the Right of Nature Is The RIGHT OF NATURE is the Liberty each man hath to use his own power as he will himself for the preservation of his own Nature that is to say of his own Life and consequently of doing any thing which in his own Judgment and Reason he shall conceive to be the aptest means thereunto On What Liberty Is By LIBERTY is understood according to the proper signification of the word the absence of external Impediments which Impediments may oft take away part of a mans power to do what he would but cannot hinder him from using the power left him according as his judgment and reason shall dictate to him On What A Law of Nature Is A LAW OF NATURE is a Precept or general Rule found out by Reason by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life or which takes away the means of preserving the same and to omit that by which he thinks it may be best preserved Naturally Every Man Has Right To Everything And because the condition of Man as hath been declared in the precedent Chapter is a condition of War of every one against every one in which case every one is governed by his own Reason and there is nothing he can make use of that may not be a help unto him in preserving his life against his enemies It follows that in such a condition every man has a Right to every thing even to one anothers body And therefore as long as this natural Right of every man to every thing endures there can be no security to any man how strong or wise he may be of living out the time which Nature ordinarily allows men to live The Fundamental Law Of Nature And consequently it is a precept or general rule of Reason quotThat every man ought to endeavor Peace as far as he has hope of obtaining it and when he cannot obtain it that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of Warquot The first branch of which Rule contains the first and Fundamental Law of Nature which is quotTo seek Peace and follow itquot The Second the sum of the Right of Nature which is quotBy all means we can to defend our selvesquot The Second Law Of Nature From this Fundamental Law of Nature by which men are commanded to endeavor Peace is derived this second Law quotThat a man be willing when others are so too as far as for Peace and defense of himself he shall think it necessary to lay down this right to all things and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himselfquot For as long as every man holds this Right of doing any thing he likes so long are all men in the condition of War But if other men will not lay down their Right as well as he then there is no Reason for any one to divest himself of his For that were to expose himself to Prey which no man is bound to rather than to dispose himself to Peace What it is to lay down a Right To Lay Down a mans Right to any thing is to Divest himself of the Liberty of hindering another of the benefit of his own Right to the same For he that renounces or passes away his Right gives not to any other man a Right which he had not before because there is nothing to which every man had not Right by Nature but only stands out of his way that he may enjoy his own original Right without hindrance from him not without hindrance from another So that the effect which redounds to one man by another mans defect of Right is but so much diminution of impediments to the use of his own Right original Renouncing or Transferring Right What Obligation Duty Justice Right is laid aside either by simply Renouncing it or by Transferring it to another By Simply RENOUNCING when he cares not to whom the benefit thereof redounds By TRANSFERRING when he intends the benefit thereof to some certain person or persons And when a man hath in either manner abandoned or granted away his Right then is he said to be OBLIGED or BOUND not to hinder those to whom such Right is granted or abandoned from the benefit of it and that he Ought and it his DUTY not to make void that voluntary act of his own and that such hindrance is INJUSTICE and INJURY the Right being before renounced or transferred The way by which a man either simply Renounces or Transfers his Right is a declaration or Signification by some voluntary and sufficient sign or signs that he doth so Renounce or Transfer or hath so Renounced or Transferred the same to him that accepts it And these Signs are either Words only or Actions only or as it happens most often both Words and Actions And the same are the BONDS by which men are bound and obliged Bonds that have their strength not from their own Nature for nothing is more easily broken then a mans word but from Fear of some evil consequence upon the rupture Not All Rights Are Alienable Whensoever a man Transfers his Right or Renounces it it is either in consideration of some Right reciprocally transferred to himself or for some other good he hopes for thereby For it is a voluntary act and of the voluntary acts of every man the object is some Good To Himself And therefore there be some Rights which no man can be understood by any words or other signs to have abandoned or transferred As first a man cannot lay down the right of resisting them that assault him by force to take away his life because he cannot be understood to aim thereby at any Good to himself The same may be said of Wounds and Chains and Imprisonment both because there is no benefit consequent to such patience as there is to the patience of suffering another to be wounded or imprisoned as also because a man cannot tell when he sees men proceed against him by violence whether they intend his death or not And lastly the motive and end for which this renouncing and transferring or Right is introduced is nothing else but the security of a mans person in his life and in the means of so preserving life as not to be weary of it On What A Contract Is The mutual transferring of Right is that which men call CONTRACT There is difference between transferring of Right to the Thing and transferring or tradition that is delivery of the Thing it self For the Thing may be delivered together with the Translation of the Right as in buying and selling with ready money or exchange of goods or lands and it may be delivered some time after On What A Covenant Is Again one of the Contractors may deliver the Thing contracted for on his part and leave the other to perform his part at some determinate time after and in the mean time be trusted and then the Contract on his part is called PACT or COVENANT Or both parts may contract now to perform hereafter in which cases he that is to perform in time to come being trusted his performance is called Keeping Of Promise or Faith and the failure of performance if it be voluntary Violation Of Faith Signs of an Express Contract Signs of Contract are either Express or By Inference Express are words spoken with understanding of what they signify And such words are either of the time Present or Past as I Give I Grant I Have Given I Have Granted I Will That This Be Yours Or of the future as I Will Give I Will Grant which words of the future are called Promise Signs Of an Inferred Contract Signs by Inference are sometimes the consequence of Words sometimes the consequence of Silence sometimes the consequence of Actions sometimes the consequence of Forbearing an Action and generally a sign by Inference of any Contract is whatsoever sufficiently argues the will of the Contractor Free Gift Passes By Words Of The Present Or Past Words alone if they be of the time to come and contain a bare promise are an insufficient sign of a Free gift and therefore not obligatory For if they be of the time to Come as To Morrow I Will Give they are a sign I have not given yet and consequently that my right is not transferred but remains till Itransfer it by some other Act But if the words be of the time Present or Past as quotI have given or do give to be delivered to morrowquot then is my to morrows Right given away to day and that by the virtue of the words though there were no other argument of my will And there is a great difference in the signification of the words quotI will that this be thine to morrowquot and quotI will give it to thee to morrowquot For the word I Will in the former manner of speech signifies an act of the will Present but in the later it signifies a promise of an act of the will to Come and therefore the former words being of the Present transfer a future right the later that be of the Future transfer nothing But if there be other signs of the Will to transfer a Right besides Words then though the gift be Free yet may the Right be understood to pass by words of the future as if a man propound a Prize to him that comes first to the end of a race The gift is Free and though the words be of the Future yet the Right passes for if he would not have his words so be understood he should not have let them run Signs Of Contract Are Words Both Of The Past Present and Future In Contracts the right passes not only where the words are of the time Present or Past but also where they are of the Future because all Contract is mutual translation or change of Right and therefore he that promises only because he hath already received the bene t for which he promises is to be understood as if he intended the Right should pass for unless he had been content to have his words so understood the other would not have performed his part rst And for that cause in buying and selling and other acts of Contract A Promise is equivalent to a Covenant and therefore obligatory On What Merit Is He that performs first in the case of a Contract is said to MERIT that which he is to receive by the performance of the other and he hath it as Due Also when a Prize is propounded to many which is to be given to him only that wins or money is thrown amongst many to be enjoyed by them that catch it though this be a Free Gift yet so to Win or so to Catch is to Merit and to have it as DUE For the Right is transferred in the Propounding of the Prize and in throwing down the money though it be not determined to whom but by the Event of the contention But there is between these two sorts of Merit this difference that In Contract I Merit by virtue of my own power and the Contractors need but in this case of Free Gift I am enabled to Merit only by the benignity of the Giver In Contract Imerit at The Contractors hand that he should depart with his right In this case of gift I Merit not that the giver should part with his right but that when he has parted with it it should be mine rather than anothers On When Covenants of Mutual Trust Are Invalid If a Covenant be made wherein neither of the parties perform presently but trust one another in the condition of mere Nature which is a condition of War of every man against every man upon any reasonable suspicion it is Void But if there be a common Power set over them both with right and force sufficient to compel performance it is not Void For he that performs first has no assurance the other will perform after because the bonds of words are too weak to bridle mens ambition avarice anger and other Passions without the fear of some coercive Power which in the condition of mere Nature where all men are equal and judges of the justness of their own fears cannot possibly be supposed And therefore he which performs first does but betray himself to his enemy contrary to the Right he can never abandon of defending his life and means of living But in a civil estate where there is a Power set up to constrain those that would otherwise violate their faith that fear is no more reasonable and for that cause he which by the Covenant is to perform first is obliged so to do The cause of Fear which makes such a Covenant invalid must be always something arising after the Covenant made as some new fact or other sign of the Will not to perform else it cannot make the Covenant Void For that which could not hinder a man from promising ought not to be admitted as a hindrance of performing A Right To The End Contains the Right To The Means He that transfers any Right transfers the Means of enjoying it as far as it is in his power And they that give to a man The Right of government in Sovereignty are understood to give him the right of levying money to maintain Soldiers and of appointing Magistrates for the administration of Justice No Covenant But Of Possible And Future The matter or subject of a Covenant is always something that falls under deliberation For to Covenant is an act of the Will that is to say an act and the last act of deliberation and is therefore always understood to be something to come and which is judged Possible for him that Covenants to perform How Covenants are Made Void Men are freed of their Covenants two ways by Performing or by being Forgiven For Performance is the natural end of obligation and Forgiveness the restitution of liberty as being a retransferring of that Right in which the obligation consisted A Mans Covenant Not To Defend Himself Is Void A Covenant not to defend my self from force by force is always void For as I have shown before no man can transfer or lay down his Right to save himself from Death Wounds and Imprisonment the avoiding whereof is the only End of laying down any Right and therefore the promise of not resisting force in no Covenant transfers any right nor is obliging For though a man may Covenant thus quotUnless I do so or so kill mequot he cannot Covenant thus quotUnless I do so or so Iwill not resist you when you come to kill mequot For man by nature chooses the lesser evil which is danger of death in resisting rather than the greater which is certain and present death in not resisting And this is granted to be true by all men in that they lead Criminals to Execution and Prison with armed men notwithstanding that such Criminals have consented to the Law by which they are condemned The Second Treatise on Civil Government John Locke Sec 4 TO understand political power right and derive it from its original we must consider what state all men are naturally in and that is a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit within the bounds of the law of nature without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man A state also of equality wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal no one having more than another there being nothing more evident than that creatures of the same species and rank promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature and the use of the same faculties should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection unless the lord and master of them all should by any manifest declaration of his will set one above another and confer on him by an evident and clear 39 an A 39 J rightto d 39 39 and v iguty 11 Sec 6 But though this be a state of liberty yet it is not a state of license though man in that state have an uncontrollable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions yet he has not liberty to destroy himself or so much as any creature in his possession but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it which obliges every one and reason which is that law teaches all mankind who will but consult it that being all equal and independent no one ought to harm another in his life health liberty or possessions for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent and infinitely wise maker39 all the servants of one sovereign master sent into the world bv his order and about his business thev are his property whose workmanship they are made to last during his not one another39s pleasure and being furnished with like faculties sharing all in one community of nature there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us that may authorize us to destrov one another as if we were made for one another39s uses as the inferior ranks of creatures are for ours Every one as he is bound to preserve himself and not to quit his station willfully so by the like reason when his own preservation comes not in competition ought he as much as he can to preserve the rest of mankind and may not unless it be to do justice on an offender take away or impair the life or what tends to the preservation of the life the liberty health limb or goods of another Sec 7 And that all men may be restrained from invading others rights and from doing hurt to one another and the law of nature be observed which wills the peace and preservation of all mankind the execution of the law of nature is in that state put into every man s hands whereby every one has a right to punish the transgressors of that law to such a degree as may hinder its violation for the law of nature would as all other laws that concern men in this world 39be in vain if there were no body that in the state of nature had a power to execute that law and thereby preserve the innocent and restrain offenders And if any one in the state of nature may punish another for any evil he has done every one may do so for in that state of perfect equality where naturally there is no superiority or jurisdiction of one over another what any may do in prosecution of that law every one must needs have a right to do Sec 27 Though the earth and all inferior creatures be common to all men yet eve man has a propertv in his own person this no bodv has anv right to but himself The labor of his body and the work of his hands we may say are properly his Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided and left it in he hath mixed his labor with and joined to it something that is his own and thereby makes it his property It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in it hath by this labor something annexed to it that excludes the common right of other men for this labor being the unquestionable property of the laborer no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to at least where there is enough and as good left in common for others Sec 28 He that is nourished by the acorns he picked up under an oak or the apples he gathered from the trees in the wood has certainly appropriated them to himself No body can deny but the nourishment is his I ask then when did they begin to be his when he digested or when he eat or when he boiled or when he brought them home or when he picked them up and it is plain if the first gathering made them not his nothing else could That labor put a distinction between them and common that added something to them more than nature the common mother of all had done and so they became his private right And will any one say he had no right to those acorns or apples he thus appropriated because he had not the consent of all mankind to make them his Was it a robbery thus to assume to himself what belonged to all in common If such a consent as that was necessary man had starved notwithstanding the plenty God had given him We see in commons which remain so by compact that it is the taking any part of what is common and removing it out of the state nature leaves it in which begins the property without which the common is of no use And the taking of this or that part does not depend on the express consent of all the commoners Thus the grass my horse has bit the turfs my servant has cut and the ore I have digged in any place where I have a right to them in common with others become my property without the assignation or consent of any body The labor that was mine removing them out of that common state they were in hath fixed my property in them Sec 45 Thus labour in the beginning gave a right of property wherever any one was pleased to employ it upon what was common which remained a long while the far greater part and is yet more than mankind makes use of Men at first for the most part contented themselves with what unassisted nature offered to their necessities and though afterwards in some parts of the world where the increase of people and stock with the use of money had made land scarce and so of some value the several communities settled the bounds of their distinct territories and by laws within themselves regulated the properties of the private men of their society and so by compact and agreement settled the property which labour and industry began and the leagues that have been made between several states and kingdoms either expressly or tacitly disowning all claim and right to the land in the others possession have by common consent given up their pretences to their natural common right which originally they had to those countries and so have by positive agreement settled a property amongst themselves in distinct parts and parcels of the earth yet there are still great tracts of ground to be found which the inhabitants thereof not having joined with the rest of mankind in the consent of the use of their common money lie waste and are more than the people who dwell on it do or can make use of and so still lie in common tho39 this can scarce happen amongst that part of mankind that have consented to the use of money Sec 54 Though I have said above Chap II That all men by nature are equal I cannot be supposed to understand all sorts of equality age or virtue may give men a just precedency excellency of parts and merit may place others above the common level birth may subject some and alliance or bene ts others to pay an observance to those to whom nature gratitude or other respects may have made it due and yet all this consists with the equality which all men are in in respect of jurisdiction or dominion one over another39 which was the equality I there spoke of as proper to the business in hand being that equal right that every man hath to his natural freedom without being subjected to the will or authority of any other man Sec 89 Whereever therefore any number of men are so united into one society as to quit every one his executive power of the law of nature and to resign it to the public there and there only is a political or civil society And this is done whereever any number of men in the state of nature enter into society to make one people one body politic under one supreme government or else when any one joins himself to and incorporates with any government already made for hereby he authorizes the society or which is all one the legislative thereof to make laws for him as the public good of the society shall require to the execution whereof his own assistance as to his own decrees is due And this puts men out of a state of nature into that of a commonwealth by setting up a judge on earth with authority to determine all the controversies and redress the injuries that may happen to any member of the commonwealth which judge is the legislative or magistrates appointed by it And whereever there are any number of men however associated that have no such decisive power to appeal to there they are still in the state of nature Sec 90 Hence it is evident that absolute monarchy which by some men is counted the only government in the world is indeed inconsistent with civil society and so can be no form of civil government at all for the end of civil society being to avoid and remedy those inconveniencies of the state of nature which necessarily follow from every man39s being judge in his own case by setting up a known authority to which every one of that society may appeal upon any injury received or controversy that may arise and which every one of the society ought to obey whereever any persons are who have not such an authority to appeal to for the decision of any difference between them there those persons are still in the state of nature and so is every absolute prince in respect of those who are under his dominion Sec 95 MEN being as has been said by nature all free equal and independent no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty and puts on the bonds of civil society is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable safe and peaceable living one amongst another in a secure enjoyment of their properties and a greater security against any that are not of it This any number of men may do because it injures not the freedom of the rest they are left as they were in the liberty of the state of nature When any number of men have so consented to make one community or government they are thereby presently incorporated and make one body politic wherein the majority have a right to act and conclude the rest Sec 96 For when any number of men have by the consent of every individual made a community they have thereby made that community one body with a power to act as one body which is only by the will and determination of the majority for that which acts any community being only the consent of the individuals of it and it being necessary to that which is one body to move one way it is necessary the body should move that way whither the greater force carries it which is the consent of the majority or else it is impossible it should act or continue one body one community which the consent of every individual that united into it agreed that it should and so every one is bound by that consent to be concluded by the majority And therefore we see that in assemblies empowered to act by positive laws where no number is set by that positive law which empowers them the act of the majority passes for the act of the whole and of course determines as having by the law of nature and reason the power of the whole Sec 97 And thus every man by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority and to be concluded by it or else this original compact whereby he with others incorporates into one society would signify nothing and be no compact if he be left free and under no other ties than he was in before in the state of nature For what appearance would there be of any compact what new engagement if he were no farther tied by any decrees of the society than he himself thought fit and did actually consent to This would be still as great a liberty as he himselfhad before his compact or any one else in the state of nature hath who may submit himself and consent to any acts of it if he thinks fit Sec 98 For if the consent of the majority shall not in reason be received as the act of the whole and conclude every individual nothing but the consent of every individual can make any thing to be the act of the whole but such a consent is next to impossible ever to be had if we consider the infirmities of health and avocations of business which in a number though much less than that of a commonwealth will necessarily keep many away from the public assembly To which if we add the variety of opinions and contrariety of interests which unavoidably happen in all collections of men the coming into society upon such terms would be only like Cato39s coming into the theatre only to go out again Such a constitution as this would make the mighty Leviathan of a shorter duration than the feeblest creatures and not let it outlast the day it was born in which cannot be supposed till we can think that rational creatures should desire and constitute societies only to be dissolved for where the majority cannot conclude the rest there they cannot act as one body and consequently will be immediately dissolved again Sec 99 Whosoever therefore out of a state of nature unite into a community must be understood to give up all the power necessary to the ends for which they unite into society to the majority of the community unless they expressly agreed in any number greater than the majority And this is done by barely agreeing to unite into one political society which is all the compact that is or needs be between the individuals that enter into or make up a commonwealth And thus that which begins and actually constitutes any political society is nothing but the consent of any number of freemen capable of a majority to unite and incorporate into such a society And this is that and that only which did or could give beginning to any lawful government in the world Sec 119 Every man being as has been shown naturally free and nothing being able to put him into subjection to any earthly power but only his own consent it is to be considered what shall be understood to be a sufficient declaration of a man39s consent to make him subject to the laws of any government There is a common distinction of an express and a tacit consent which will concern our present case No body doubts but an express consent of any man entering into any society makes him a perfect member of that society a subject of that government The difficulty is what ought to be looked upon as a tacit consent and how far it binds ie how far any one shall be looked on to have consented and thereby submitted to any government where he has made no expressions of it at all And to this I say that every man that hath any possessions or enjoyment of any part of the dominions of any government doth thereby give his tacit consent and is as far forth obliged to obedience to the laws of that government during such enjoyment as any one under it whether this his possession be of land to him and his heirs for ever or a lodging only for a week or whether it be barely traveling freely on the highway and in effect it reaches as far as the very being of any one within the territories of that government Sec 120 To understand this the better it is fit to consider that every man when he at first incorporates himself into any commonwealth he by his uniting himself thereunto annexed also and submits to the community those possessions which he has or shall acquire that do not already belong to any other government for it would be a direct contradiction for any one to enter into society with others for the securing and regulating of property and yet to suppose his land whose property is to be regulated by the laws of the society should be exempt from the jurisdiction of that government to which he himself the proprietor of the land is a subject By the same act therefore whereby any one unites his person which was before free to any commonwealth by the same he unites his possessions which were before free to it also and they become both of them person and possession subject to the government and dominion of that commonwealth as long as it hath a being Whoever therefore from thenceforth by inheritance purchase permission or other ways enjoys any part of the land so annexed to and under the government of that commonwealth must take it with the condition it is under that is of submitting to the government of the commonwealth under whose jurisdiction it is as far forth as any subject of it Sec 123 IF man in the state of nature be so free as has been said39 if he be absolute lord ofhis own person and possessions equal to the gleatest and subject to no body why will he part with his freedom whv will he give up this empire and subject himself to the dominion and control of any other power To which it is obvious to answer that though in the state of nature he hath such a ri t et the en39o ment of it is ver uncertain and constantly exposed to the invasion of others for all being kings as much as he every man his equal and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe very insecure This makes him willing to quit a condition which however free is full of fears and continual dangers and it is not without reason that he seeks out and is willing to join in society with others who are already united or have a mind to unite for the mutual preservation of their lives liberties and estates which I call by the general name property Sec 124 The great and chief end therefore of men39s uniting into quot39 and putting themselves under government is the preservation of their property To which in the state of nature there are many things wanting First There wants an established settled known law received and allowed by common consent to be the standard of right and wrong and the common measure to decide all controversies between them for though the law of nature be plain and intelligible to all rational creatures yet men being biased by their interest as well as ignorant for want of study of it are not apt to allow of it as a law binding to them in the application of it to their particular cases Sec 125 Secondly In the state of nature there wants a known and indifferent judge with authority to determine all differences according to the established law for every one in that state being both judge and executioner of the law of nature men being partial to themselves passion and revenge is very apt to carry them too far and with too much heat in their own cases as well as negligence and unconcemedness to make them too remiss in other men s Sec 126 Thirdly In the state of nature there often wants power to back and support the sentence when right and to give it due execution They who by any injustice offended will seldom fail where they are able by force to make good their injustice such resistance many times makes the punishment dangerous and frequently destructive to those who attempt it Sec 143 THE legislative power is that which has a right to direct how the force of the commonwealth shall be employed for preserving the community and the members of it But because those laws which are constantly to be executed and whose force is always to continue may be made in a little time therefore there is no need that the legislative should be always in being not having always business to do And because it may be too great a temptation to human frailty apt to grasp at power for the same persons who have the power of making laws to have also in their hands the power to execute them whereby they may exempt themselves from obedience to the laws they make and suit the law both in its making and execution to their own private advantage and thereby come to have a distinct interest from the rest of the community contrary to the end of society and government therefore in well ordered commonwealths where the good of the whole is so considered as it ought the legislative power is put into the hands of divers persons who duly assembled have by themselves or jointly with others a power to make laws which when they have done being separated again they are themselves subject to the laws they have made which is a new and near tie upon them to take care that they make them for the public good Sec 144 But because the laws that are at once and in a short time made have a constant and lasting force and need a perpetual execution or an attendance thereunto therefore it is necessary there should be a power always in being which should see to the execution of the laws that are made and remain in force And thus the legislative and executive power come often to be separated Sec 150 In all cases whilst the government subsists the legislative is the supreme power for what can give laws to another must needs be superior to him and since the legislative is no otherwise legislative of the society but by the right it has to make laws for all the parts and for every member of the society prescribing rules to their actions and giving power of execution where they are transgressed the legislative must needs be the supreme and all other powers in any members or parts of the society derived from and subordinate to it Sec 155 It may be demanded here What ifthe executive power being possessed ofthe force of the commonwealth shall make use of that force to hinder the meeting and acting of the le islative when the original quot quot or the public e igem ie require it I say using force upon the people without authority and contra to the trust put in him that does so is a state of war with the people who have a right to reinstate their le islative in the exercise of their power for having erected a legislative with an intent they should exercise the power of making laws either at certain set times or when there is need of it when they are hindered by any force from what is so necessary to the society and wherein the safety and preservation of the people consists the people have a right to remove it by force In all states and conditions the true remedy of force without authority is to oppose force to it The use of force without authority always puts him that uses it into a state of war as the aggressor and renders him liable to be treated accordingly Sec 157 Because the constitution of the legislative being the original and supreme act of the society antecedent to all positive laws in it and depending wholly on the people no inferior power can alter it And therefore the people when the legislative is once constituted having in such a government as we have been speaking of no power to act as long as the government stands this inconvenience is thought incapable of a remedy Sec 158 Salus populi suprema lex is certainly so just and fundamental a rule that he who sincerely follows it cannot dangerously err If therefore the executive who has the power of convoking the legislative observing rather the true proportion than fashion of representation regulates not by old custom but true reason the number of members in all places that have a right to be distinctly represented which no part of the people however incorporated can pretend to but in proportion to the assistance which it affords to the public it cannot be judged to have set up a new legislative but to have restored the old and true one and to have rectified the disorders which succession of time had insensibly as well as inevitably introduced For it being the interest as well as intention of the people to have a fair and equal representative whoever brings it nearest to that is an undoubted friend to and establisher of the government and cannot miss the consent and approbation of the community prerogative being nothing but a power in the hands of the prince to provide for the public good in such cases which depending upon unforeseen and uncertain occurrences certain and unalterable laws could not safely direct whatsoever shall be done manifestly for the good of the people and the establishing the government upon its true foundations is and always will be just prerogative The power of erecting new corporations and therewith new representatives carries with it a supposition that in time the measures of representation might vary and those places have a just right to be represented which before had none and by the same reason those cease to have a right and be too inconsiderable for such a privilege which before had it Tis not a change from the present state which perhaps corruption or decay has introduced that makes an inroad upon the government but the tendency of it to injure or oppress the people and to set up one part or party with a distinction from and an unequal subjection of the rest Whatsoever cannot but be acknowledged to be of advantage to the society and people in general upon just and lasting measures will always when done justify itself and whenever the people shall choose their representatives upon just and undeniably equal measures suitable to the original frame of the government it cannot be doubted to be the will and act of the society whoever permitted or caused them so to do Sec 159 WHERE the legislative and executive power are in distinct hands as they are in all moderated monarchies and wellframed governments there the good of the society requires that several things should be left to the discretion of him that has the executive power for the legislators not being able to foresee and provide by laws for all that may be useful to the community the executor of the laws having the power in his hands has by the common law of nature a right to make use of it for the good of the society in many cases where the municipal law has given no direction till the legislative can conveniently be assembled to provide for it Many things there are which the law can by no means provide for and those must necessarily be left to the discretion of him that has the executive power in his hands to be ordered by him as the public good and advantage shall require nay it is t that the laws themselves should in some cases give way to the executive power or rather to this fundamental law of nature and government viz That as much as may be all the members of the society are to be preserved for since many accidents may happen wherein a strict and rigid observation of the laws may do harm as not to pull down an innocent man39s house to stop the fire when the next to it is burning and a man may come sometimes within the reach of the law which makes no distinction of persons by an action that may deserve reward and pardon 39tis fit the ruler should have a power in many cases to mitigate the severity of the law and pardon some offenders for the end of government being the preservation of all as much as may be even the guilty are to be spared where it can prove no prejudice to the innocent Sec 222 The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property and the end why they choose and authorize a legislative is that there may be laws made and rules set as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society to limit the power and moderate the dominion of every part and member of the society for since it can never be supposed to be the will of the society that the legislative should have a power to destroy that which every one designs to secure by entering into society and for which the people submitted themselves to legislators of their own making whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society and either by ambition fear folly or corruption endeavor to grasp themselves or put into the hands of any other an absolute power over the lives liberties and estates of the people by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends and it devolves to the people who have a right to resume their original liberty and by the establishment of a new legislative such as they shall think fit provide for their own safety and security which is the end for which they are in society What Ihave said here concerning the legislative in general holds true also concerning the supreme executor who having a double trust put in him both to have a part in the legislative and the supreme execution of the law acts against both when he goes about to set up his own arbitrary will as the law of the society Sec 240 Here it is like the common question will be made Who shall be judge whether the prince or legislative act contrary to their trust To this I reply The people shall be judge for who shall be judge whether his trustee or deputy acts well and according to the trust reposed in him but he who deputes him and must by having deputed him have still a power to discard him when he fails in his trust If this be reasonable in particular cases of private men why should it be otherwise in that of the greatest moment where the welfare of millions is concerned and also where the evil if not prevented is greater and the redress very difficult dear and dangerous Declaration of Independence The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature39s God entitle them a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation We hold these truths to be selfevident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happinessi That to secure these rights Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed 7 That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institute new Government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness Prudence indeed will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism it is their right it is their duty to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for their future securityi Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States To prove this let Facts be submitted to a candid world He has refused his Assent to Laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained and when so suspended he has utterly neglected to attend to them He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable and distant from the depository of their public Records for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people He has refused for a long time after such dissolutions to cause others to be elected whereby the Legislative powers incapable of Annihilation have returned to the People at large for their exercise the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries He has erected a multitude of New Offices and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people and eat out their substance He has kept among us in times of peace Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us For protecting them by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent For depriving us in many cases of the bene ts of Trial by Jury For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province establishing therein an Arbitrary government and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies For taking away our Charters abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments For suspending our own Legislatures and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever He has abdicated Government here by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us He has plundered our seas ravaged our Coasts burnt our towns and destroyed the lives of our people He is at this time transporting large A1mies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death desolation and tyranny already begun with circumstances of Cruelty amp perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren or to fall themselves by their Hands He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages sexes and conditions In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant is unfit to be the ruler ofa free people Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity We must therefore acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our Separation and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind Enemies in War in Peace Friends We therefore the Representatives of the united States of America in General Congress Assembled appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions do in the Name and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies solemnly publish and declare That these United Colonies are and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved and that as Free and Independent States they have full Power to levy War conclude Peace contract Alliances establish Commerce and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do And for the support of this Declaration with a rm reliance on the protection of divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our Lives our Fortunes and our sacred Honor
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