Excerpt from The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Vol. 5: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations Limited monarchies were the ancient governments; the jea lousies and errors Of the nobles, or the Oppressions they suffered, stimulated them to render monarchy unpopular, and erect aristo cracies. Ancient nations were, in one point, very generally defective in their constitutions, and that was the incertitude of the sovereignty, and, by consequence, the instability of govern ment; which was, in all the republics of Italy, a perpetual occa sion of infinite confusion. In no part Of Italy, however united together, was found established an absolute hereditary monarch. By many examples, it is manifest, that kings either were created by the favor of the multitude, or at least sought their consent, and consulted the people in affairs of most importance and greatest danger. The government Of the grandees, which suc ceeded, was rather a fraudulent or violent usurpation, than a true and proper aristocracy established by law, or confirmed by long and uncontested possession; and a popular government was never so free or so durable as when it was mixed with the authority Of one supreme head, or of a senate; so that mixed governments were almost always preferred. One of the three kinds of governments nevertheless fell when another arose; and all the Italian republics, nearly at one time, by the same grada tions, passed from one form Of administration to another.
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