Something of a follow-up to that last post, research for book 2 recently led me to Samuel Goodrich’s 1837 title, Peter Parley’s Universal History on the Basis of Geography, a world history that includes some general but timeless thoughts on sustaining the integrity and wherewithal of the U.S. Government.
They seem particularly pertinent to today’s unprecedented times.
- We live in a fine country, we have a good form of government, but these will not insure happiness. If the people become indolent, or if they become wicked, ruin and desolation will visit this land. Government may be compared to a house; those who live in it must take good care of it.
- …In short, the whole establishment must be taken care of by people who are worthy of being trusted, people who are skillful, and who cannot be tempted to neglect their duty.
- If the house is entrusted to careless, ignorant or faithless people, it may take fire, and the inhabitants be burned up. Or it may decay and fall down upon the heads of those who dwell in it…. It may thus become a miserable and comfortless habitation….
- It is so with government. If careless, ignorant or faithless rulers are chosen to take care of the country, wars and commotions may follow; poverty and vice may spread over the land; ignorance and misery may take the place of knowledge and prosperity. Thus, the government, which, like a house, is designed to protect us, when ill managed, like a house on fire, or borne down by the tempest, may be the cause of our ruin.