From the first moment that my mind was capable of contemplating political subjects, I never, till this moment, ceased wishing success to a well-regulated republican government. The establishment of such in America was my most ardent desire.
I have considered attentively (and my consideration has been aided by experience) the tendency of a relaxation of laws and a licentiousness of manners.If we review the history of all republics, we are justified in the supposition that, if the bands of the government be relaxed, confusion will ensue. Anarchy ever has produced, and I fear ever will produce, despotism. – James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 14, 1788; Elliot 3:394