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1819 May 20

In what manner the present Elective System of America may
act, at the remove period when the progress of Society shall have conducted
that Country to the crowded Cities and unequal fortunes of Europe, no man
will pretend to foresee, except those whose presumptuous folly disables them
from forming probable conjectures on such subjects. If, from the unparalleled
situation of America, the present usages should quietly prevail
for a very long time, they may insensibly adapt themselves to the gradual
changes in the National Condition, and at length be found capable
of subsisting in a state of things to which, if they had been suddenly
introduced, they would have proved irreconcilably adverse. In
the thinly peopled state of the West, Universal Suffrage itself may
be so long exercised without the possibility of danger, as to create a
national habit which may be strong enough to render its exercise
safe in the midst of an indigent populace. In that long tranquility
it may languish into forms, and these forms may soon follow the
spirit. For a period far exceeding our foresight, it can not affect the
confederacy further than the effect which may arise from very popular
Elections in a few of the larger Western towns. The interior order of
the Country where it is adopted, will be aided by the compression of
its former and more compact confederates. It is even possible that the
extremely popular system which prevails in South some American Elections,
may, in future times, be found not more than sufficient
to counterbalance the growing influence of wealth in the South, and
the tendencies towards toryism which are late perceptible in New
England. The operation of different principles on Elections, in various
parts of the Continent, may even now be discerned. Some remarkable
facts have already appeared. In the state of Pennsylvania we
have* * Fearon, 138 &c. How could this intelligent writer treat the absence of tumult, in such a City and Country as bearing any resemblance to the like circumstance in Europe. a practical proof that ballot is not attended with secrecy. We
also know, Id. 320. that Committes, composed of the leaders of federal and
democratic parties, instruct their partisans how they are to vote at every
election; and that in this manner the leaders of the democratic party
who now predominate in their Caucus, The following account of this strange term will show its probable origin and the long experienced efficacy of such an expedient for controlling Ballot. or Committee at Washington,

Identifier: | JB/109/076/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 109.



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Parliamentary Reform

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[[watermarks::I&M [Prince of Wales feathers] 1818]]


Jeremy Bentham

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Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington


Jeremy Bentham

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