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Paine first sums up the components of the English Constitution as:

  • First. - The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person of the king
  • Secondly. - The remains of aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the peers.
  • Thirdly. - The new republican materials in the persons of the commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England.

Which he follows up with:

The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the people; wherefore in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state.

What exactly does Paine mean by, "in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state?"

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migrated from history.stackexchange.com Feb 12 '14 at 14:36

This question came from our site for historians and history buffs.

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They rule without responsibility. They subject the state to their own whim and interests, therefore obstructing it in it's role of fulfilling the constitution. The state should be free to enforce public interest, which is what the constitution warrants.

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