Every fact bearing upon the character and service of the statesmen whose genius created a model form of human government should receive a warm greeting from those who are proud of the growth, progress, and prosperity of the republic. The harmonious working of the component parts which enter into the life of the country is to-day the result of the intelligent labors of a small group of men over a hundred years ago. Like the rays of the sun which give light to the world, a government which proves capable of maintaining the purpose for which it was established, and protects the liberties of its citizens, should be hailed and imitated by mankind in every clime.
The sword of Washington carved success upon the standards of the new republic. The pen of Jefferson declared in immortal phrase our independence of Great Britain. The young eagle was pluming for his flight among the nations of the globe. But how should he so adjust his wings as to carry with nice balance, upon pinions of freedom, the glorious mission of establishing a government of the people, to replace the power of the tyrant?
Among the eminent patriots of those days, whose minds grasped this great problem, the subject of this book stands out in bold relief. A most remarkable man was George Mason! His conception of the authority of the citizens to control the government, and that the government existed only by their will and consent, was thorough and complete.
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