(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

INFLUENCE  OF PHYSICAL AND  SOCIAL CAUSES.     519

man. These differences cannot fail to have something to do
with the leaning towards different institutions, with the fixity
or the unsteadiness of habits, with moral characteristics. Dif-
ferences of mental and moral natures, such as Greece and
Rome show, appear in the earliest records of the two nations,
yet they are in language and religion nearer than either is to
the rest of their race. Race acts as a predisposing or prevent-
ing cause, which may be overcome in a long course of time,
so that the same political forms can make their way amid all
the varieties of races and peoples. The actual success of mis-
sionaries in bringing individuals of all races and tribes to
receive Christianity with a common understanding of its spir-
itual ideas, not only shows the unity of man in his varieties
of race, but we may argue from this reception of common
religious ideas and hopes, and from this submission to a com-
mon law of life, that political ideas also may circulate over
mankind so as to bring about, if not the same forms of govern-
ment, yet such as are animated by a common spirit of justice
and of liberty.

266.
When a form of government in a country has lasted .from
influences of dif- aSe to age> ^ cannot ^a^ to have had a decided
toHSrf°SS£ influence of its own upon the character of the
acten                   nation, and to have modified the other moral
causes that affect national character. We shall endeavor now
to see if we can find out what these influences are, which is
not always an easy task, because, when a quality of char-
acter is prominent in a nation, it may be that other causes
besides the government have aided in producing it. Those
causes, for instance, may have been of earlier origin than the
government itself, and may be able to stand their ground for
centuries against others of an opposite character.
We begin our discussion on the influences of different forms
Montesquieu  on of governments  by looking at Montesquieu's
the principle of gov-             **                                                   ,     .           .      .   «               «.   ,
emments.            noted remarks upon their principles, which oc-
cupy the third book of the Spirit of the Laws.    There is this