Quotation by James A. Monroe

Republics demanded virtue. Monarchies could rely on coercion and "dazzling splendor" to suppress self-interest or factions; republics relied on the goodness of the people to put aside private interest for public good. The imperatives of virtue attached all sorts of desiderata to the republican citizen: simplicity, frugality, sobriety, simple manners, Christian benevolence, duty to the polity. Republics called on other virtues—spiritedness, courage—to protect the polity from external threats. Tyrants kept standing armies; republics relied on free yeomen, defending their own land.
James A. Monroe (b. 1951), U.S. political scientist. The Democratic Wish: Popular Participation and the Limits of American Government, ch. 1, Basic Books (1990).
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