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ment over local sovereigns, might not improperly be taken notice of. Nor could any proof, more striking, be given of the calamities flowing from such institutions.-Equally unfit for selfgovernment, and self-defence, it has long been at the mercy of its powerful neighbours; who have lately had tho mercy to disburden it of one third of its people and territories.

The connection among the Swiss cantons, scarcely amounts to a confederacy; though it is sometimes cited as an instance of the stability of such institutions.

They have no common treasury; no common troops even in war; no common coin; no common judicatory, nor any other common mark of sovereignty.

They are kept together by the peculiarity of their topographical position; by their individual weakness and insignificancy; by the fear of powerful neighbours, to one of which they were formerly subject; by the few sources of contention among a people of such simple and homogeneous manners; by their joint interest in their dependent possessions; by the mutual aid they stand in need of, for suppressing insurrections and robellions; an aid expressly stipulated, and often required and afforded; and by the necessity of some regular and permanent provision for accommodating disputes among the cantons. The provision is, that the parties at variance shall each choose four judges out of the neutral cantons, who, in case of disagreement, choose an umpire. This tribunal, under an oath of impartiality, pronounces definitive sentence, which all the cantons are bound to enforco. The competency of this regulation may be estimated by a clauso in their treaty of 1083, with Victor Amadeus of Savoy; in which he obliges himself to interposo as mediator in disputes between the cantons; and to employ forco, if necessary, against the contumacious party.

So far as the peculiarity of their case will admit of comparison with that of the United States, it serves to confirm the principle intended to be established. Whatever efficacy tho union may have had in ordinary cases, it appears that the moment a causo of difference sprang up, capable of trying its strength, it failed.

The controversies on the subject of religion, which in three instances have kindled violent and bloody contests, may be said in fact to have severed the league. The Protestant and Catholic cantons, have since had their separate diets; where all the most important concerns are adjusted, and which have left the general diet little other business than to take care of the common bailages.

That separation had another consequence, which merits atten. tion. It produced opposite alliances with foreign powers; of Bern, as the head of the Protestant association, with the United Provinces; and of Luzerne, as the head of the Catholic association, with France.







THE United Netherlands are a confederacy of republics, or rather of aristocracies, of a very remarkable texture; yet con. firming all the lessons derived from those which we have already reviewed.

The union is composed of seven co-equal and sovereign states, and each state or province is a composition of equal and indepondent cities. In all important cases, not only the provinces, but tho cities, must be unanimous.

The sovereignty of the union is represented by the states general, consisting usually of about fifty deputios appointed by the provinces. They hold their seats, some for life, some for six, three, and one years. From two provinces they continue in appointment during pleasure.

The states general have authority to enter into treaties and alliances; to make war and peace; to raise armies and equip fleets; to ascertain quotas and demand contributions. In all these cases, however, unanimity and the sanction of their constituents are requisite. They have authority to appoint and receive ambassadors; to execute treaties and alliances already formed; to provide for the collection of duties on imports and exports; to regulate the mint, with a saving to the provincial

rights; to govern as sovereigns the dependent territories. The provinces are restrained, unless with the general consent, from entering into foreign treaties; from establishing imposts injurious to others, or charging their neighbours with higher duties than their own subjects. A council of state, & chamber of accounts, with five colleges of admiralty, aid and fortify the foderal administration.

Tho executive magistrate of the union is the stadtholder, who is now an bereditary prince. His principal weight and influence in the republic are derived from his independent title; from his great patrimonial estates; from his family connections with some of the chief potentates of Europe; and more than all, perhaps, from his being stadtholder in the several provinces, as well as for the union, in which provincial quality, he has the appointment of town magistrates under certain regulations, executes provincial decrees, presides when he pleases in the provincial tribunals; and has throughout the power of pardon.

As stadtholder of the union, he has, however, considerable prerogatives.

In his political capacity, he has authority to settle disputes between the provinces, when other methods fail; to assist at the deliberations of the states general, and at their particular conforences; to give audience to foreign ambassadors, and to keep agents for his particular affairs at foreign courts.

In his military capacity, he commands the federal troops; provides for garrisons, and in general regulates military affairs; disposes of all appointments from colonels to ensigns, and of the governments and posts of fortified towns.

In his marine capacity, he is admiral general, and superintends and directs every thing relative to naval forces, and other naval affairs; presides in the admiralties in person or by proxy; appoints lieutenant 'admirals and other officers; and establishes councils of war, whose sentences are not executed till he ap

proves them.

Ilis revenue, exclusive of his private income, amounts to

300,000 floring. The standing army which he commands consists of about 40,000 men.

Such is the nature of the celebrated Belgic confederacy, as delineated on parchment. What are the characters which practice has stampt upon it? Imbecility in the government; discord among the provinces; foreign influence and indignities; a precarious existence in peace, and peculiar calamities from war.

It was long ago remarked by Grotius, that nothing but the hatred of his countrymen to the house of Austria, kept them from being ruined by the vices of their constitution.

The union of Utrecht, says another respectable writer, reposes an authority in the states general, seemingly sufficient to secure harmony, but the jealousy in each province renders the practice very different from the theory.

Tho same instrument, says another, obliges each province to levy certain contributions; but this article never could, and probably never will, be executed; because the inland provinces, who have little commerce, cannot pay an equal quota.

In matters of contribution, it is the practice to wave the articles of the constitution. The danger of delay obliges the consenting provinces to furnish their quotas, without waiting for the others; and then to obtain reimbursement from the others, by deputations, which are frequent, or otherwiso, as they can. The great wealth and influence of the province of Holland, enable her to effect both these purposes.

It has more than once happened that the deficiencies have been ultimately to be collected at the point of the bayonet; a thing practicable, though dreadful, in a confederacy, where one of the members exceeds in force all the rest; and where several of them are too small to meditate resistance: But utterly impracticable in one composed of members, several of which are equal to each other in strength and resources, and equal singly to a vigorous and persevering defence.

Foreign ministers, says Sir William Temple, who was bimself

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