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To lay your provincial felicity on such a solid and durable foundation, there must be between the governor and the peoples, a mediate body, furnished with enough provincial consequence to always be able to balance, moderate, restrain even, the power of the first in the various degrees of his exertion on the last. Today, what is each citizen? A simple individual, isolated, reduced, by a government, to himself, and his unity of inconsequent individuality.

And what is the governor by the very content of his royal patent? A public figure, supported by all the prerogatives of the crown, amplified and outraged even, since he is in fact armed with the arbitrary power of the most ambitious despotism; he crushes us of the sole weight of his gigantic double power balanced by no counterweight in our favour. Eh, wait! Here is, Messieurs, presented in its more beautiful attributes I am not unaware, Messieurs , that a masked despotism took the initiative here, and conspired to arm you, beforehand, with indifference, dislike, alienation even, against an institution, only made to foster, of theoretical and practical policy, the national happiness of a province far away from its primitive authority.

This despotism projected to fix its empire among you; its began by getting you to worry over an institution which is its enemy and is well devised to put it down: the strategy was not badly crafted to perpetuate its triumph; but reason educated at the school of a sad and unhappy experiment comes back from afar; and it is a triumph so worthy of any thinking being, that I promise myself of your uprightness and of your lights after a mature consideration of reality. On what grounds could the institution of an assembly, i.

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I hear you; it is that this body of the new legislature would be authorized to tax the province, and to oppress it under the weight of taxes. Here is, I know, this great scarecrow, which was generally used to startle your minds against the erection of an assembly; but first, Messieurs , it is to your good faith to which I speak here eh! Can the State take care of the various phases of its conservation, its defence from the outside, and the economy of good order inside, without the mediation of administrators and agents, whose services it is necessary to pay and reward?

And isn't it up to the citizens to support, by themselves, the expenses and expenditure which are all for them and their own needs? But don't you live today under an actual state of taxation? Eh, what are these import duties, which are imposed on all the imported food products which raise so tremendously their prices? It is in truth the chief merchant who pays, by preliminary provision, the tax, but of course you will pay it again of your own pockets with usury: the tax, although only mediate, is not less effective and affective relative to you.

But did you never read, with much attention, the last statutes of the legislature, which constitutionally supplemented the power of your legislative body, and armed it de pied en cap to tax you? This body, in its present formation and constitution, is but a reserve corp all to the governor, and for the governor, who, having in his sole hands the arbitrary right to break or preserve its members, disposes of their suffrage as a sovereign; the governor, in the current shape of your government, is thus entitled to tax you, at least mediately; a miserable distinction, which does not increase your rights for as much, while not sparing your purses any more: and you are not startled by such a taxer, with so many rights, of which he would be armed to frighten you!

But here is a quite glorious circumstance, which would well differentiate the tax to your advantage, if it were statued by an assembly made out of your representatives; it would then be you who would have the pleasure and glory to be in person your own taxers: moreover, these representatives, subordinated themselves to their own injunctions, would be informed by their own interests not to overload you of a weight, which, as a necessary repercussion, would reflect on them too; their authority would even extend to the application of these taxes, to the nature, real or supposed, of the public needs, which would give rise to these taxes.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of Lettres Persanes, by Montesquieu.

So many positions fraudulently piled up on the same heads, to the degradation of these same offices, and to the ruin of the public! Under an assembly which would pass everything under review, the hand of the reforming economy would soon castrate these plunders of greed, as much for the relief of the State as for your own.

But I return to the principle from which I started, because it is decisive and without appeal: the sovereignty of the State, i. You are wise, Messieurs , the solidity of these reflexions could not have escaped your lights; but it is a fact that the nature of the body of assembly which up until now some talked about placing at the head of province's legislature offended you; it injured your delicacy, and obviously affected your rights 3.

They were Protestant-only assemblies, which were conceived from a short-sighted plan; we are no longer talking about such a small plan. Today, everyone in England agrees not to dispute your national prerogatives; your citizens rights are generally recognized; the law of nations gives it to you; England, under its virtuous constitution, does not know how to make violence to the law of nations: under this new constitutional aspect, there is no longer in Canada but one class of colonists, i.

It would be yourselves who would constitute the body of voters; you would be the supreme directors of the quality of the happy candidates to the elections.

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Canada, counts in its midst parishes: each lord would be entitled to vote by birth to form the Upper House of the assembly, each parish would elect two members, taken indifferently from the various classes of citizens, according to whether it would please the body of voters to choose them: this last body, more numerous, would constitute the Lower House.

This economy directing the shape of your assembly would not be without resembling the external decoration of the Parliament of England: by bringing you so close to the government of the capital, you would only perceive a more considerable portion of the constitutional happiness which she enjoys in substance and in mass.

The glory of such a clever plan is not for me; it is wholly due to Mr. He had drawn its model from the most beautiful constitutions of the colonies, the most wisely administered; for it is relevant to have you remark here, Messieurs , that Canada is the only colony of the British empire that is not decorated with the institution of an assembly, to govern it; Grenada even, which contains in its midst but a handful of French people, your old like your new compatriots, taste, almost since the Conquest, the delicious fruits of such an advantageous government.

I cannot retrace you here the faithful image of extactic joy with which her children saw themselves, after the peace, given back to themselves, turned into their own taxers, their own legislators, I almost said their own sovereigns and their own kings, with the opening of their first assembly. The hearts of the Canadiens are made for great things; they know how to see them, and feel them; it is of these noble feelings, that I await the wisdom of your choice: thus we will not groan for a long time at the sight of a Canada degraded by these odious distinctions, which up until now have spoiled its glory as much as it disfigured its happiness; we will be thus, finally, be an English people, that is to say a free and happy people.

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Uncertain however of the nature of your choice, I cannot put the final touch to such an important arrangement, without nuancing for you here, at any event, another plan of government, which without the erection of a house of assembly, embraces all the advantages, all these invaluable fruits of provincial administration, of which I just showed you the price: it is The appointment of six members, to represent Canada in the British Senate; three for the district of Quebec, and three for the district of Montreal.

Do not precipitate your judgement, until I had time to present you this new plan, with all its features, and in its entirety. I am not unaware that opulence, distributed by luck of a miserly hand, even in the first classes of our citizens of Canada, would not put at our disposal subjects who would be able to represent, with glare and external dignity, a province such as ours, in the British Senate.

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It would consequently be necessary to elevate their impotence with funds taken from their constituents, and to compensate the expenses of their pump and external decoration by stakes levied on all the classes of citizens. Thus our nobility would shine at the expense of the commoners, i.

These are not the unpopular views which motivated me in preparing the all popular plan that I here submit to your deliberations. No; but while waiting for the revolution of times prepared and brought forward by the administrative wisdom of England, that Canada sees, in its midst, running with more abundance, the torrent of richnesses, and growing, by the increase in the circulation of gold, the fortunes of his children, it is in England, our national metropolis, that we would go to seek six gentlemen of fortune, and patriotic virtue, who could and would want to make us the honour to represent us in Parliament, i.

This defence preparation, in our favour, would by itself be enough to choke in principle the occasion and the need for it.

A governor, who would know that, in London, we can count on representatives in the senate to defend our rights, would hardly be tempted to attack them, i. In the remainder, the elections in England cost nothing to the interested parties; over there, the famous bill of Mr. Grenville decided, for eternity, on the generosity, the disinterestedness, the nobility of sentiment, in one word the virtue, of the voters and the candidates.

These last ones would redden not to owe their election exclusively to themselves and their own merit; therefore, they are wary no to corrupt and buy the votes out, which being always free are delivered for nothing: candidates having, of constitution, nothing to offer, the voters, also animated by such a noble spirit, have, neither in inclination nor in fact, nothing to accept; and of members who sit in the name of the various electoral divisions of England, not one senator who has spent a penny for his senatorial place.

What a wonder of honesty! The name of Mr. Grenville, author of such a famous and so general and virtuous revolution of the hearts, deserves to be inscribed with a distinction and a special glory, in the record of the apostles, the most famous converter of the universe. At all events, if twelve hundred leagues away from England Mr. Greenville's famous bill on the incorruptibility of elections, were to, on such a long road, lose a little of its energy, thousands of these so miserly candidates in England, in the days of their elections, would be furiously tempted to open, with full declads, their well furnished purses for you, to buy at all costs the honour of your votes; but born in the middle of wind gusts and storms, English virtue can support itself on the crossing of the seas.

At least your elections would cost you nothing but a little time, wasted initially perhaps, but which would soon pay off with usury; because these happy candidates, honoured by your choice, and once elected turned into your representatives, would be strengthened by recognition and honour as so many public guards and friends, who, enlightened by your instructions, would find personal and national glory in espousing haut la main your interests, and in eloquently pleading your cause by the throne and the senate.

In the shade of such a respectable protection, you would become respectable and frightening even for your governors, who would then hardly have the ideas turned towards oppression, when they would know that, to oppress you successfully and with impunity, they would have all the might of parliamentary authority to vanquish and overcome: you would be then too strong to fall victim of their weakness.

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Moreover, these governors, according to the national genius, would perhaps be open to the suggestion of ambition, avid of this active representation in the senate; you would have, under the hand of your recognition, civil honors to pay the benefits which a soft and beneficial administration could grant you: here are charms sufficient enough to convert into an easy generous and benign governor, the despot, by natural inclination, the haughtier and most superb one, and even to make of a General Haldimand another Chevalier de Savile, alas! In the remainder, Messieurs , may the modesty of your sentiments not impose itself on the timidity your claims; perhaps a sad experiment had taught England that the wisest policy, to bind itself to the remote colonists, dictates their incorporatation in the assembly which represents the whole body of the nation, to simplify the empire, and to put it, by this incorporation in a unity of government, which is the mother of solidity and consistency.

At least your entry in the senate if it were ever a question of it would not degrade 4 the very majesty of the senate itself: Frenchmen have in the past illustrated, by their presence, the majesty of this august assembly: Calais, the small town of Calais, once appointed two members of Parliament, and these foreigners, if however subjects, subjects indeed, can be foreigners in the States of their legitimate sovereign these foreigners, say I, admitted, by introducing their virtues there, did but add gloss and glare to this famous body: History, written by a cosmopolitan mind, still speaks with praise of their services.

You should note here, Messieurs , that the royal introducer, who believed it his duty, in justice for his French subjects on the continent, to introduce them in the British senate, was a despot, Henri VIII who, on his deathbed, prided himself with having never spared, during his reign, neither a man in his anger, nor a woman in his debauchery.

What shouldn't we hope for from a sovereign who today makes the procession of all virtues reign on the throne of England?

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The most singular thing about this parliamentary admission of the French, is that under Edward VI, the reign of the Reform was established in England: the Calesians did not adopt it; yet their members were not expelled from their senatorial seats for that: thus one did not believe that there was a constitutional incompatibility between parliamentary dignity and non-reformation. How many reflexions to be made here! But me, I am Protestant; we must leave something to say, and especially to do for our Roman Catholics in Canada. But in case you were not favourable to the combining of your representation in Parliament to the institution of an assembly, two quite miscible establishments however, and quite necessary to your happiness it would then be necessary to go back to the principles that we already defined; because, when it is the hand of reflexion a happy reflexion that chose them, their force and their solidity are set to subsist; these six members of Parliament would form but one body, twelve hundred leagues away from you; oppression could quietly devise to strike you with unexpected blows; and oppression, in exertion and in office, is always too long; the body which you qualify today a little too liberally perhaps of the sublime name of "Legislative Body", could become the "Body of your Mediators", by doubling their number up to Their multiplication would bristle up the difficulty of their total corruption: but a just and wise economy should rule the terms of this increase.

Their fee is [presently] set at pounds sterling; reduce it in half, it would be enough, if it were honour and virtue that were to lead these legislators; and it would be too much, if a noble motive entered in the administration of their dignity. In the remainder, the safety of the province would enjoy a more inviolable shelter, if we invested the Canadiens of the right to elect annually at least half of the 46 members of the legislative body, which, under this elective face, would offer, in spite of its mixity, at least a sample of the representation of the whole country: in this way its deliberations, brought at the feet of the throne, would announce the feelings of all of Canada, while, in the current shape of our provincial government, the ministry of England is deprived of any fixed point, of any similar pledge, to be assured of it; as such does we see him wander, on such an important article, alas, too much!

Lastly, these annual elections would fix the elected legislators in the sphere of duty and fidelity toward their constituents, to whom they would depend upon for their renomination. The same yearly recurrence of election should mark the choice of the six members of Parliament, which should take place in September, to arrive in time for the usual opening of the Parliament in November. It would be to this senate to rule on the nature of the oath to administer to these senators of new creation.

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I have discussed at large these parts of the reform, which alone can give stability to a government made for your happiness; the other isolated and detached points require less comments; I am only making them ostensible by assigning them in paragraphs. To decorate the concession of the Roman catholic religion in Canada of all its pump, the parade of the sanction by the legislature, and after that to toss aside, in the province, the priests, who are the ministers made to perpetuate it, is to highly grant the benefit with one hand, and to take it away dully with the other; it is a kinds of a duplicity, unworthy of a nation which frankness and uprightness have, from time immemorial, characterized and marked the traits.

By the way, what a narrow and particularly faulty system, that of going each year in Savoy to beg and buy up a couple of priests there, to lend them to Canada? And it is our ministers who undertook to conclude this admirable bargain! Eh, but! But State leaders! Are they made to be parish administrators? One would soon lower them to make churchwardens out of them; greater responsibilities call them elsewhere; what narrow mindedness, but the more out of place here, that it seems that by doing this the government of England was startled and took offence of a handful of priests, who isolated all by themselves, and dispersed in the parishes of Canada, helpless, without external supports, can have no influence on politics, and are fortunately reduced out of necessity to the role which the holiness of their state prescribes them; we are no longer in those disastrous days, when the tiaras and the mitres were the only crowns of the universe; it is to revive, in a way, the shame of these unhappy times, to suppose?

Canada, by the kind of education which it provides to its youth, generally destined to the needs of agriculture, enrols but few subjects to the service of the Church. Ah well! In the remainder, this free entry in Canada granted to Roman priests, is the general system adopted today in all the American colonies; this power, still in the cradle of its sovereignty, has thus far deployed a smoothness of administrative policy: one can shamelessly copy it as a model.


Moreover, here is a point which should not escape the public. A great part of the Indian nations is attached to the Roman communion: this attachment binds them in trade, preferably to their fellow-members of religion. In the piteous situation, in mercantile matter, where Canada sits today, it would be well out of place to deprive it from this help, by taking away its ability to dispatch its priests, for the service of the Savage Churches.

America would benefit from avoiding to neglect this. The wages of these advisers, before the conquest, did not exceed little ecus, currency of France. Considering the circulation of cash, which by enriching the province increased the price of food products, the generosity of the English government could increase the wages of the these advisers up to pounds sterling. The salaries of the judges today can go up to pounds and several of them who have nominally up to four or five seats for themselves.

Where is the economy for the State? England is getting out of a ruinous war, in which the mass of her national debts increased to a monstrous magnitude. It would be to ask that she let herself and her peoples crumble down, to solicitate expensive and costly institutions: Canada already costs her too much; but I then assure on my honour here that it is not the fault of Canada itself; if ever a body of assembly were to chair its administration and to review public expenditure, soon the colony, discharged from insane expenses, would be self-sufficient to govern itself with its established incomes, and ever to flower.

I can only add here: let us continue. Under the French government, these spices were reduced to the sphere of the greatest moderateness; because of that did Canada hardly ever saw in its midst this voracious race, which lives off the manure of all the madnesses of humankind: hardly three or four causes were being judged in the course of one year in the Superior Council of Quebec. At least it would not cost much for the return of this golden age. Here it is only to England that I have the honour to speak.