Montesquieu
 

IX.3 Other things required in the federative republic

In the repu­blic of Holland, one pro­vince can make no alliance without the consent of the others. This is a very good law, and even a neces­sary one in a fede­ra­tive repu­blic. It is absent from the Germanic cons­ti­tu­tion, where it would pre­vent the mis­for­tu­nes that can befall all its mem­bers through the impru­dence, ambi­tion, or ava­rice of just one. A repu­blic which has uni­fied itself in a poli­ti­cal confe­de­ra­tion has com­mit­ted itself fully, and has nothing more to give.

The sta­tes that asso­ciate toge­ther are unli­kely to be of the same size and to have equal strength. The repu­blic of the Lycians1 was an asso­cia­tion of twenty-three cities ; the large ones had three votes in the com­mon coun­cil ; the medium-sized ones, two ; the small ones, one. The repu­blic of Holland is com­po­sed of seven pro­vin­ces, large or small, each of which has one vote.

The cities of Lycia paid costs in pro­por­tion to the num­ber of votes.2 The pro­vin­ces of Holland can­not fol­low that pro­por­tion ; they must fol­low that of their strength.

In Lycia, the jud­ges and magis­tra­tes of the cities were elec­ted by the com­mon coun­cil, and accor­ding to the pro­por­tion we have sta­ted.3 In the repu­blic of Holland, they are not elec­ted by the com­mon coun­cil, and each city names its own magis­tra­tes. If I were to offer a model of an excel­lent fede­ra­tive repu­blic, I would choose the repu­blic of Lycia.

Strabo, book XIV.

Strabo, book XIV.

Ibid.