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John Adams - Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, VOL 1

John Adams - Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, VOL 1

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Vol 1 of 3: US President John Adams - Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1786)
Vol 1 of 3: US President John Adams - Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1786)

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Published by: Waterwind on May 28, 2013
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01/02/2014

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UNDUWALD.

My dear Sir,
THE canton of Underwald confifts only of
villages and boroughs, although it is twen-

ty-five miles in length, and feventeen in breadth.

Thefe dimenfions, it feems, were too extenfive to

be governed by a legiflation fo imperfectly com-

bined, and nature has taught and compelled them

to feparate into two divifions, the one above, and

the other below, a certain large foreit of oaks,

which runs nearly in the middle of the country,
from north to fouth. The inferior valley, below

the forefl, contains four communities •,

and the

fuperior, above it, fix. The principal or capital

is Sarncn. The Sovereign is the whole country,

the fovcreignty reliding in the general affembly,

where all the males of fifteen have entry and fuf-

frage ; but each valley apart has, with refpect to

its interior concerns, its land ainman, its officers

©f administration, and its public affembly, com-

ic

pofed

Underwald.

i

y

pofed of fifty-eight fenators, taken from the com-

munities. As to affairs without, there is a ge-

neral council, formed of all the officers of admi-

nistration, and of fifty-eight fenators chofen in

the faid councils of the two valleys. Befides this,

there are, for juftice and police, the chamber of

icven^ and the chamber of fifteen, for the up-

per valley, and the chamber of eleven for the

lower.

Here again are arrangements more complica-

ted, and ariftocratical preferences more decided,

in order to counterpoife the democratical affem-

bly, than any to be found in America, and the

land amman is as great a man in proportion as an

American governor. Is this a fimple democracy ?
Has this little clan of graziers been able to coi-

led: all authority into one center ? Are there not

three aflemblies here to moderate and balance

each other ? and are not the executive and judi-

cial powers feparated from the legiflative ? Is it

not a mixed government, as much as any in

America ? although its conftitution is not by any

means fo well digefted as ten at lead of thofe of

the United States ; and although it would never

be found capable of holding together a great

nation.

LETTER

28

Demoeratical Cantons,

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