6 votes

Is America simply too big?

The following lecture delves deeper into this question.

Jefferson, Republicanism, and the Problems of Size and Scale Donald Livingston discusses the Jeffersonian philosophy of small republics and the proper size and scale of government. This talk was delivered for the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society in November 2013.


Donald Livingston is the founder of the Abbeville Institute and distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Emory University. Livingston received his doctorate at Washington University in 1965. He has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and has been on the editorial board of Hume Studies and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. Livingston's books include Hume's Philosophy of Common Life and Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium.


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That's why we abbreviate to USA


Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.


Also author of Stick it to the Man!



We should subdivide it into several continents.

The United States is also too big.

The "United States"

of North America needs to default to the original concepts of the size of a Federal presence and role in the Government.

Thank you Ron Paul,,,


It's not too big if we would follow the constitution

The feds have taken on so much that the federal government is too big not the country.


The Apportionment Act of 1911 caps the number of representatives. That gives you a ratio of 1 representative for every 750,000 people. That gap will only continue to widen.

This is what the lecture was about beneath it. Mr. Livingston explains the problem and how it was understood at the time..

"Now, after successfully seceding from the British Empire, American's were determined to abandon Monarchy in all it's ways; nobility, church, state, and so on. But they faced a daunting problem: When they thought of republics, they thought of the history I have just mentioned. That history taught them republics had to be small. It also taught them that if the territory and population of a state was too large, the polity would necessarily become a centralized monarchy, whether they wanted it or not- the dynamic of size would determine it.

In short: for republicanism, size and scale are destiny.. not moral character or ideology, but sheer size and scale as such. Well, if that's true, it looked Americans were doomed to monarchy because of the size of the territory they had acquired from Britain. But that was not necessarily true because although the territory was vast the population was quite small. In fact, Americans enjoyed political life at a scale smaller than that of the ancient Greeks."

So, what is the problem with getting DC to follow the constitution? Inadequate representation which shifts the decision making ability from the people to the highest bidder (special interests).