Most political writers have concluded, that a republican government, over a very large territory, cannot exist; and as this opinion is sustained by alarming proofs, and weighty authorities, it is entitled to much respect, and serious consideration. All extensive territories in past times, and all in the present age, except those of the United States, have been, or are, subject to monarchies. As the Roman territory increased, republican principles were corrupted; and an absolute monarchy was established long before the republican phraseology was abolished. Recently, the failure of a consolidated republican government in France, may probably have been accelerated or caused by the extent of her territory, and the additions she made to it. Shall we profit by so many examples and authorities, or rashly reject them? If they only furnish us with the probability, that a consolidated republic cannot long exist over a great territory, they forcibly admonish us to be very careful of our confederation of republics. By this form of government, a remedy is provided to meet the cloud of facts which have convinced political writers, that a consolidated republic over a vast country, was impracticable; by repeating, an attempt hitherto unsuccessful, we defy their weight, and deride their admonition. I believe that a loss of independent internal power by our confederated States, and an acquisition of supreme power by the Federal department, or by any branch of it, will substantially establish a consolidated republic over all the territories of the United States, though a federal phraseology might still remain; that this consolidation would introduce a monarchy, and that the monarchy, however limited, checked, or balanced, would finally become a complete tyranny. This opinion is urged as the reason for the title of the following treatise. If it is just, the title needs no apology; and a conviction that it is so, at least excuses what that conviction dictated…. [From the Preface to the First Edition]