The Ancient Library

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The special dangers of the democratic system were recognised and an attempt made to remedy them. The division of power between council and assembly was swept away. The new council was a compromise between the two: but as a deliberative body it could only have proved helpless and unwieldy. Another democratic defect, the separation of the executive from the sovereign power, was remedied by the inclusion of all magistrates in the council, while the principle of rotation secured the active par­ticipation in the government of all citizens in turn, and prevented the continuation of military office in the same hands. In its blend of oligarchic and democratic ideas we recognise the work of a somewhat fantastic theorist, and we may reasonably doubt whether his paper constitution would have worked with any measure of success.

But alike in the provisional and in the projected schemes of government we may notice certain ruling oligarchic principles: the exclusion of the lower classes from all political rights; the abolition of pay; the con­centration of power in the hands of a council, entrusted with sovereign authority, and the creation of a strong executive appointed by and from the ruling council.

/9ou\7) for the time, in order that their responsibility might be enforced. It is therefore unnecessary to omit Ka

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.