ON THE AUTHORITY OF ONE COUNTRY OVER ANOTHER.
FROM the nature and principles of Civil Liberty, it is an immediate and necessary inference that no one community can have any power over the pro∣perty or legislation of another community, that is not incorporated with it by a just and adequate re∣presentation.—Then only, is a state free, when it is governed by its own will. But a country that is sub∣ject to the legislature of another country, in which it has no voice, and over which it has no controul, can∣not be said to be governed by its own will. Such a country, therefore, is in a state of slavery. And it deserves to be particularly considered, that such a slavery is worse, on several accounts, than any slavery of private men to one another, or of kingdoms to despots within themselves.—Between one state and another, there is none of that fellow-feeling that takes place between persons in private life. Being detached bodies that never see one another, and re∣siding perhaps in different quarters of the globe, the Page 229state that governs cannot be a witness to the suffer∣ings occasioned by its oppressions; or a competent judge of the circumstances and abilities of the peo∣ple who are governed. They must also have, in a great degree, separate interests; and the more the one is loaded, the more the other may be cased. The infamy likewise of oppression, being in such circum∣stances shared among a multitude, is not likely to be much felt or regarded. On all these accounts there is in the cafe of one country subjugated to another, little or nothing to check rapacity; and the most flagrant injustice and cruelty may be practised with∣out remorse or pity. I will add, that it is particu∣larly difficult to shake off a tyranny of this kind. A single despot, if a people are unanimous and reso∣lute, may be soon subdued. But a despotic state is not easily subdued; and a people subject to it cannot eman∣cipate themselves without entering into a dreadful, and, perhaps, very unequal contest.
I cannot help observing farther, that the slavery of a people to external despots may be qualified and li∣mited; but I don't see what can limit the authority of one state over another. The exercise of power in this case can have no other measure than discretion; and, therefore, must be indefinite and absolute.
Once more. It should be considered that the go∣vernment of one country by another, can only be sup∣ported by a military force; and, without such a sup∣port, must be destitute of all weight and efficiency.