Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
(?-1899)
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Editor/Trans.
First Pub. Date
1881
Publisher/Edition
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Pub. Date
1899
Comments
Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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DIVINE RIGHT

I.380.1

DIVINE RIGHT. In religion some minds accept the principle of authority, and others the principle of free investigation. In politics the same difference is found. Some advocate the principle of divine right, others that of national sovereignty. Must it be admitted that reason was given to man that he might not use it, and that he must blindly submit his opinions to those of a man clothed with ecclesiastical authority? Or may he freely use his intellect and reject what seems to him inadmissible? It is not our business to decide this question here.

I.380.2

—We enjoy more liberty relatively to divine right. We may affirm that all men are equal before God, and that the nation was not created in the interest of a prince, but that the prince exists, at least in principle, only for the good of the nation. We say in principle, for, in reality, more than one monarch proved the scourge of his people. Moreover, nations have prospered under a republican form of government. But under the monarchical form, as well as the republican, sovereignty belongs naturally to the nation, which may delegate its powers, if it thinks best to do so. To believe that there exists any one family having rights directly emanating from God, is to ignore history and close one's eyes to evidence.

M. B.

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