Section 1: Public Jurisprudence

Chapter 1: The Original Principles of Government

Superior abilities of body and mind are not so easily judged of.

The second principle which induces men to obey the civil magistrate is utility.

Authority is perfect if:

In all governments, both these principles take place in some degree.

  • Men generally follow these principles according to their natural dispositions.
  • It has been a common doctrine in Britain that contract is the foundation of allegiance to the civil magistrate.

    Secondly, when certain powers of government were at first entrusted to certain persons on certain conditions, the obedience of those who entrusted it might be founded on a contract.

    By remaining in the country you tacitly consent to the contract and are bound by it.

    But by the supposition of an original contract, by leaving the state you expressly declare that you will no longer continue a subject of it and are freed from the obligation which you owed it.

    Breach of allegiance or high treason is a much greater crime.


    Next: Chapter 2