"Were I to define the British constitution, therefore, I should say, it is a limited monarchy, or a mixture of the three forms of government commonly known in the schools, reserving as much of the monarchical splendor, the aristocratical independency, and the democratical freedom, as are necessary that each of these powers may have a control, both in legislation and execution, over the other two, for the preservation of the subject's liberty."
by:
John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
Source:
Boston Gazette, 27 Jan 1766, Adams Papers, V I, pp 167-168
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Reader comments about this quote:
Sounds like an apt description of England's government, but how it affects us here and now I don't see it.
 -- Anon     
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    The British at that time had just been evicted form the newly formed US for their tyrannical ways. The British now, live in a socialized police state with few if any natural rights. No matter what Adams had in mind, it's best if Americans ignore British methods as being completely "UnAmerican" and therefore irrelevant to our way of life.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Well said,J Carlton.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    jim k, lets not get feeling too smug here, (you and me) the present administration in power is so completely UnAmerican...its starting to look like dictatorship out of a third world country. There's work to do at home if we are to preserve the Republic.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Watching British and other European news, nothing was said of the near 2 million participants of the 9/12 activities or, otherwise protesting the loss of freedom by the implementation of unconstitutional socialism in DC (-; most US media only slightly mentioned it as tens of thousands of tax protesters ;-) but, much was said on how racist Amerika is. Since the British have never had a constitution, perception of foreign affairs can be personally subjective.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Note the year in which this was written: 1766. And the word 'constitution' did not mean a written charter. Adams has written extensively on the "three forms of government commonly known in the schools." This would come into play later as the fledgling new country free from monarchical rule would have to be formed. The Executive branch represents the monarchical, the Senate the aristocratic, and the House the democratic. Thus the Judicial was to provide for the due process of justice with the juror the final arbtiter in the matter. But as has been stated many times by many people, when a central bank was established in the European-Rothschilds fashion, it matters not the laws of the country as long as someone controls all the money. Obviously, Adams realized that the contitution of the British government was not indeed protecting the right of it's subjects. The same is true today -- and probably another revolution will be required to set right (for the next 100 years).
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    We need to pay close attention to European laws as we seem to follow them so closely. Maybe Ronald Regan's biggest goof was putting Sandra Day O'Conner on the Supreme Court. Remember her statement, "We need to be more llike Europe in our laws!"
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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