Origin of the Problem

“We may please ourselves with the prospect of free and popular Governments. But there is great Danger, that these Governments will not make us happy. God grant they may. But I fear, that in every assembly, Members will obtain an Influence, by Noise not sense-By Meanness, not Greatness-By Ignorance not Learning-By contracted Hearts not large souls. I fear too, that it will be impossible to convince and perswade People to establish wise Regulations.

There is one Thing, my dear sir, that must be attempted and most Sacredly observed or We are all undone. There must be a Decency and Respect, and Veneration introduced for Persons in Authority, of every Rank, or We are undone. In a popular Government, this is the only Way of Supporting order.”

John Adams in a letter to James Warren, April 22, 1776.

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