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CONSTITUTION  OF  FLORKNCK.                      101
country or named by some nominating power, or in part, at
least, open to certain men who have filled high stations, is dis-
cussed in another place. (^ 223,)
This, however, seems certain, that no laws which keep
landed property in a family, or restrict marriage between the
orders of society can lony accomplish the end for which they
are enacted—that is, the end of keeping their blood pure and
preventing such property from passing out of their hands,
When a country feels that such institutions are intended to
prevent the natural influences of wealth acquired by industry
and of superior unfitted intelligence ; when they are regarded
as a support of undeserved hereditary rights, which in them-
selves imply merit and intelligence, the fall of a peerage with
legislative rights is not far off. Whether the nobility fall or
not, its control in politics must cease.
Whether a municipal town under the supremacy of national
law, yet having some self-government, may not have an upper
class with somewhat more of privilege than the body of the
inhabitants, without falling into the evils to which small states,
like many Greek states, Milan, Florence, and other city-states
have been subject, is a question of some interest Certain it
is that those towns of Europe, in the middle ages, which con-
tained such a class and yet were subject to a national or other
considerable feudal power, were not in a condition to fall into
such evils. And yet, in their origin and through their early
growth, they had the same general development with Milan,
Florence, and many Italian cities. It is easy to see from the
sketch of the Florentine constitution how the larger part of
the miseries and faults of the republic grew out of its practi-
cal independence. But we cannot take up the consideration
of such towns and their civil order until we come to treat of
i municipal government together with centralization and dis-
tribution of power by themselves.