Habermas, a historical mistake has already been made. The democratic, constitutional state should not be seen as naturally determined by sharing language, culture, and national fate but as a result of a deliberate act of political will. Therefore, every citizen should have had the right to vote for or against the reunification
 Edited by J.E.Cooke, The Federalist, Wesleyan University Press (Middletown Connecticut 1961)NO.51 James Madison PP.347-353. 迈迪逊《联邦党人文集》
John Cameron Simonds.
Determined by the quality or character of its power, government may be generally
classified as either absolute or constitutional. Benjamin Constant, a publicist of the Restoration, defined absolute power "as the absence of rule. of limit, of definition:" as the absence of all limitation to supreme power, and "of all independent powers to form a counterpoise." Wherever lodged, absolute power is the same, and admits of no rule or limit from without. Whether in form a monarchy or democracy, its underlying principle is: "power is the only foundation of the right to wield it."
No ancient statesman, writes Dr. Lieber, "ever doubted the extent of supreme power. If the people possessed it, no one ever hesitated in allowing to them absolute power over every one and over everything. If it passed from the people to the few, or was usurped by one, in many cases they considered the acquisition of power unlawful, but never doubted its unlimited extent." To this conception, in ancient Greece, may be ascribed the death of Socrates, and the banishment of Aristides. For monarchical government, it was expressed by Justinian in the words: "Whatever pleases the prince has the force of law;" and by Louis XIV. in his famous aphorism: "I am the state." In France, the Jacobin convention of 1793 was a striking example of democratic absolutism; as a political organization, it assumed omnipotent power, and in its name perpetrated heinous crimes against liberty and right.
The very opposite of this is constitutional government; for the reason, its powers are exercised in accordance with a " system of fundamental laws and principles." The legitimate powers of such a government are those only which accord with its primary organization, and are consistent with its limitations and definitions,
A constitution usually supplements existing institutions, wherein it is grounded; it presupposes an established order of things; as an organon of government, the instrument presumes certain personal and property rights which it is intended to define, to protect and to preserve. A constitution is, therefore, efficient in the precise degree to which it restrains the exercise of power, wherever lodged or however distributed.
Essentially, then, whatever form a government may assume, it is constitutional only when instituted rights are protected by restrictions and guarantees. In the words of Francis Lieber: "Civil liberty does not exist when any one, or any two, or any three, or any thousand, or any million, can do what they have the mere power to do. Arbitrary power does not become less arbitrary because it is the united power of many."
Again, it is barely sufficient to define a Constitutional government as one having a "system of fundamental rules, principles and ordinances." Even an Asiatic despotism must respect the customs, traditions and opinions of its subjects. It would be difficult to find a government so absolute that it could wholly disregard that which had become customary and habitual in a people.
Venice was once a constitutional aristocracy, as indeed were all the so-called republics of northern Italy. Great Britain presents the best example of what may be designated a constitutional monarchy. However, in each of the instances above mentioned, some department of the state was above or without the constitution; in the Venetian state it was the directory, once so despotic and sanguinary, while in England, parliament is politically omnipotent.
This is not the American idea of a constitution. In the United States, absolute power does not exist in any department of the government, whether state or federal. In other words, with us, all government is the creature of a constitution, which is the only legitimate source and measure of its power; as all powers not granted by that instrument are "reserved," our system of government is an express limitation upon the powers of political agents, who may be properly re- strained only when their authority is strictly construed. Particularly is this true of the general government. A latitudinarian construction of delegated authority must eventuate in an emasculation of reserved rights; while the form may remain, the spirit will have departed. To quote the illustrious Marshall: "To what purpose are powers limited and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing if those limits may at any time be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited or unlimited powers is abolished, if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed are of equal obligation."