Governments in Greece.
I. The return of the Heraclidae occasioned consequences of which the most important were the least immediate. Whenever the Dorians forced a settlement, they dislodged such of the previous inhabitants as refused to succumb. Driven elsewhere to seek a home, the exiles found it often in yet fairer climes, and along more fertile soils. The example of these involuntary migrators became imitated wherever discontent prevailed or population was redundant: and hence, as I have already recorded, first arose those numerous colonies, which along the Asiatic shores, in the Grecian isles, on the plains of Italy, and even in Libya and in Egypt, were destined to give, as it were, a second youth to the parent states.
II. The ancient Greek constitution was that of an aristocracy, with a prince at the head. Suppose a certain number of men, thus governed, to be expelled their native soil, united by a common danger and common suffering, to land on a foreign shore, to fix themselves with pain and labour in a new settlement - it is quite clear that a popular principle would insensibly have entered the forms of the constitution they transplanted. In the first place, the power of the prince would be more circumscribed - in the next place, the free spirit of the aristocracy would be more diffused: the first, because the authority of the chief would rarely be derived from royal ancestry, or hallowed by prescriptive privilege; in most cases he was but a noble, selected from the ranks, and crippled by the jealousies, of his order: the second, because all who shared in the enterprise would in one respect rise at once to an aristocracy - they would be distinguished from the population of the state they colonized. Misfortune, sympathy, and change would also contribute to sweep away many demarcations; and authority was transmuted from a birthright into a trust, the moment it was withdrawn from the shelter of ancient custom, and made the gift of the living rather than a heritage from the dead. It was probable, too, that many of such colonies were founded by men, among whom was but little disparity of rank: this would be especially the case with those which were the overflow of a redundant population; the great and the wealthy are never redundant! - the mass would thus ordinarily be composed of the discontented and the poor, and even where the aristocratic leaven was most strong, it was still the aristocracy of some defeated and humbled faction. So that in the average equality of the emigrators were the seeds of a new constitution; and if they transplanted the form of monarchy, it already contained the genius of republicanism. Hence, colonies in the ancient, as in the modern world, advanced by giant strides towards popular principles. Maintaining a constant intercourse with their father-land, their own constitutions became familiar and tempting to the population of the countries they had abandoned; and much of whatsoever advantages were derived from the soil they selected, and the commerce they found within their reach, was readily attributed only to their more popular constitutions; as, at this day, we find American prosperity held out to our example, not as the result of local circumstances, but as the creature of political institutions.