The principle of majorities, therefore, is well established in the formsof government. Its justice is seen in the majorities of congress andthe legislatures, when they are in the right; and its injustice in theminorities, when they are in the wrong. If, in the application ofthe principle, the minority are treated with injustice, the remedy mustlie in the right of all to be masters of their own actions, and in thedetermination of justice by themselves, and by the use of all peacefulmeans. This is the doctrine of the people.
The action of this majority is a logical conclusion from the principleof majorities. The abstract justice of a majority is most apparent inthe case of an equal division of a vote. In such a case, the majorityis dominant, to the exclusion of the rights of the minority; and theremoval of the minority from the choice of the majority is the logicalconsequence of the equal division. It is true, that in the practicalapplication of this principle, the majority is inferior to the rights ofthe minority, and the choice of the majority is not in all cases thechoice of the best. But the justice of the principle is not affectedby these differences. The rights of the minority, in order to standuprightly, must be protected by some other course of action than thatwhich is prescribed in the order of the majority; and the protection of the minorities in the case of an equal division, is provided by the rights ofthe individual, so far as he can be the judge of his own interests.When the rights of the majority are superior to those of the minority, itis the interest of the individual to protect his rights and interests,and, by the exercise of this power, to prevent the wrongful exerciseof the superior rights of the majority; and if the majority, instead ofbeing composed of the best men, be so constituted, that the co-operationof the best men is impossible, it is the duty of the minority to enablesthem by the use of all peaceful means to be admitted to their share ofthe government, and to resist by every legitimate and peaceful means,the usurpations of the majorities.