I was doing a bit of Fourth-related reading today, and came across John Adams' Thoughts on Government, which I had never read before despite the fact that Adams has always been one of my favorite American patriots. This is from the opening paragraph:
[A]s the divine science of politics is the science of social happiness, and the blessings of society depend entirely on the constitutions of government, which are generally institutions that last for many generations, there can be no employment more agreeable to a benevolent mind than a research after the best.
Adams wrote Thoughts on Government in the Spring of 1776, partially (it seems) because people kept asking him what government the United States should create, and he was getting tired of providing the same answer over and over. After referencing Locke and others he writes, "there is no good government but what is republican" because a republic is "an empire of laws, not of men". It's a nice little essay.
Happy Fourth, everybody.