Chap 5: Monarchy

Chap 5-6: Military Monarchy

  • What form of government succeeded the republican?
  • When small republics were conquered by another state, monarchy, or whatever other government pleased the conquerors, was established.
    • Though they generally followed the model of their own country.
  • The Athenians always established democracy.
  • The Spartans established aristocracy.
  • The Romans more prudently divided their conquests into provinces.
    • These were governed pretty absolutely by persons appointed by the Senate.
  • The case is somewhat different when a state is conquered by its own subjects.
  • Both the nature of the action and the instruments by which it is performed require a military monarchy, or a monarchy supported by military force.
    • Because it is as necessary to keep them in awe as to conquer them.
  • This was established in Rome during the time of the emperors.
    • These emperors took the whole executive power into their own hands.
      • They made peace and war as they thought proper.
      • They even named the magistrates:
        • immediately themselves, or
        • through a Senate they themselves appointed.
  • However, they did not change any institutions of the civil law.
    • Rght and wrong were decided as formerly.
  • Cromwell did the same in our own country.
    • He kept the State in awe by an insignificant army.
    • But he allowed the [31] judge to determine right and wrong as formerly.
    • He made such improvement in the civil law by taking away wardships, etc. that the first thing the Parliament of Charles II did was to confirm many of Cromwell’s laws.


  • The Roman authors tell us that justice was best administered under Domitian and Nero1, the worst of the emperors.
    • It is the interest of all new administrators to make few alterations in what the people are much concerned and have been long accustomed to.
    • They will more easily go into anything else, when they are indulged in this.
  • It was particularly the interest of the emperors to keep up the ancient system of laws.
    • Accordingly, we find that all consuls who misbehaved in their respective provinces were severely punished.
  • It was not so under the republic.
    • The most scandalous crimes were committed by governors, as we learn from Cicero’s Orations.
  • A military government allows the strictest administration of justice.
    • Nobody can have a fair trial where the Emperor is immediately concerned: then he will do as he pleases.
    • But where he is in no way interested it is his interest to adhere to the ancient laws.


  • There was a very great difference between the military government established at Rome and those that were established in Asia.
    • At Rome the conquerors and conquered were the same people.
    • The conquerors themselves were sensible of the good effects of these laws.
    • They were so far from being willing to abrogate them, that they improved them.
  • It is not so with the Asiatic governments, though they are purely military.
    • Turkey, Persia, and the other countries were conquered by Tartars, Arabians, and other barbarous nations who had no regular system of laws, and were entirely ignorant of their good effects.
    • They established in all public offices their own people, who were entirely ignorant [32] of all the duties of them.
    • A Turkish bashaw or other inferior officer is decisive judge of everything, and is as absolute in his own jurisdiction as the Signior.
  • Life and fortune are altogether precarious, when they thus depend on the caprice of the lowest magistrate.
    • This is the most miserable and oppressive government.

Chap 6: How Military Monarchy was dissolved

  • We have considered:
    • how the dissolution of small states was brought about, and
    • what form of government succeeded them,
    • how an imperial government was introduced into conquering republics, and
    • what kind of administration this was.
  • We now show how this military monarchy was dissolved, like every state and constitution.


  • During the imperial governments at Rome, their arts and commerce were improved.
    • The people become acquainted with arts, commerce and consequently, domestic luxury.
    • They became less fond of going out to war.
    • Besides, the government found that it would hurt its revenue to call out those employed in manufactures.
  • If barbarous nations were near, they can employ them as soldiers at an easier rate.
    • At the same time, it would not hurt their own industry.
  • Sensible of these things, the Romans recruited their armies in Germany, Britain, and the northern barbarous countries which bordered on the Roman Empire.
  • They had the liberty of recruiting in these countries in the same way that the Dutch did in Scotland before the beginning of the last war1.
  • After this practice had gone [33] on for some time, they would find for several reasons that it would be much easier to:
    • make a bargain with the chieftains of these barbarous nations whom they employed, and
    • give him so much money to lead out men to expeditions.


  • Supposing then an institution of this kind, the barbarous chieftain possessed the whole military authority of the people for whom he fought.
    • Whenever the government in the least offended him, he could turn his arms against those who employed him, and make himself master of their country.
    • All the western provinces were taken possession of much in this way.
  • After they had by their practice given such invitations to the inroad of barbarians, we find that most of the Roman provinces were infested by them.
    • In this country, the Romans built a wall and kept garrisons to secure their province from the pillagers of the north.
  • The garrisons which secured this station were called away to the defence of Gaul, which at that time was also infested.
  • The Britons then got leave to shake off the Roman yoke.
  • But it could be no advantage to the Romans to give any country in Britain its liberty.
  • It was no favour done it to have no protection from Rome, which the province in reality wanted to have continued.
  • The Romans meant that they should defend themselves, as they were, for some time, to be otherwise employed.
  • However, the Britons did not like the proposal.
    • They resolved to invite a body of Saxons to their relief.
    • Hengist and Hursa came with a considerable army and entirely drove out the Romans1.
    • They [34] found themselves masters of the whole country.
    • They took possession of it and founded the Saxon Heptarchy.
  • The Western European Empire in this way.
    • Military monarchy came to ruin.
    • In the last 150 years of the Roman Empire, this custom of recruiting in barbarous nations was carried on.
    • Many of their chieftains had greatly raised themselves.
  • Patricius Ælias1 under Honorius, and many others, acquired great power.
  • In the same way, all the Asiatic governments were dissolved.
    • Their soldiers were hired from Tartary, arts and manufactures were carried on, the people made more by their trades than by going to war.
  • The East India trade which Italy and some other nations carried on by the Red Sea had rendered them very opulent.
  • Every nation as well as Rome was willing to make a bargain with the neighbouring barbarous princes to defend them.
    • This proved the ruin of the government.

Words: 1,165

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