previous next
[435] code; by those who had written best in English on
CHAP. Lxviii} 1776. June.
government and public freedom; but most of all by the great example of the English constitution, which was an aristocratic republic with a permanent executive. They passed by monarchy and hereditary aristocracy as unessential forms, and looked behind them for the self-subsistent elements of English liberty.

The principles of the Virginia declaration of rights remained to her people as a perpetual possession and a pledge of indefinite progress in happier and more tranquil days; but for the moment internal reforms were postponed; the elective franchise was not extended; nor was anything done to abolish slavery beyond the prohibition of the slave trade. The king of England possessed the crown by birth and for life; the chief executive of Virginia owed his place to an election by the general assembly, and retained it for one year. The king was intrusted with a veto power, limited within Britain, extravagant and even retrospective in the colonies; the recollection that ‘by an inhuman use of his negative he had refused them permission to exclude negroes by law,’ misled the Virginians to withhold the veto power from the governor of their own choice.

The governor like the king had at his side an elective privy council; and in the construction of this body of eight men, the desire of some permanent element of government is conspicuous. Braxton, in the scheme which he forwarded from congress, wishing to come as near as possible to the forms of monarchy, would have had the governor continue in authority during good behavior, the council of state hold their places for life, in order that they might

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Braxton (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1776 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: