Unbridled Executive Power: The Ruin of Free Constitutions

Liberty Letters Quote of the Day, Samuel Adams

The charter of this province recognizes the natural Right of all men to dispose of their property: And the governor here, like all other governors, kings and potentates, is to be supported by the free grants of the Representatives of the people. Every one sees the necessity of this to preserve the balance of power and the freedom of any state: A power without a check, is subversive of all freedom: If therefore the governor, who is appointed by the crown, shall be totally independent of the free grants of the people for his support, where is the check upon his power? He becomes absolute and may act as he pleases: He may make use of his power, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage, or any other purpose to which he may be inclined, or instructed by him upon whom alone he depends. Such an independency threatens the very being of a free constitution; and if it takes effect, will produce and firmly establish a tyranny upon its ruin.


Source: Excerpt from Samuel Adams letter to Benjamin Franklin dated June 29, 1771.


Liberty Letters: researched, compiled, formatted and edited (to include spelling modernizations, explanatory notes and/or occasional commentary) by Steve Farrell. Copyright © 2011 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.