In deciding on the form of government, consideration needs to be given on the aim of the government and the relevant system in existence at the time. As the British government was the most well-known system, hence, essentially government systems have been described in relation of the same. The aim of the current paper is to describe the government that was envisaged by Paine and Adams for the thirteen colonies or the United States
As per Thomas Paine, the end purpose of the government is to offer freedom and security to the inhabitants. Further, he draws inspiration from nature and highlights that the government structure should be simple as the more simple a thing is, the more likely it would be ordered. This is possible since it is easier to diagnose issues and rectify the same at the earliest. He offers the example of an absolute government which despite having other shortcomings ensures that government is simple since one person is at the helm of affairs and this makes it easier to identify and rectify potential issues. However, the government highlighted by the British Constitution is exceedingly complex as a result of which it becomes exceedingly difficult to understand the source of a given problem. Hence, Paine recommended a new form of government which should not be too complex like the British system. It should draw only limited inspiration from the British Constitution due to inherent contradictions. It should not be based on the rule of the hereditary king.
For Adams, the foundation of the new government should not be fear but virtues. This is because any government based on sound societal virtues would ensure maximum happiness for maximum people of the society. The law making mechanism is critical for the new government. It is imperative that the power to make laws should be vested in some representatives. This representative assembly should be to the extent possible a miniature version of the society and must reflect the core beliefs. This could be brought about by an election system which is fair and impartial. However, all the powers (legislative, judiciary and executive) should not be yielded to a single representative assembly. This is because the assembly needs to be controlled or it may grow ambitious and corrupt. Besides, it may lack the requisite abilities to act as the executive and judiciary also besides carrying on with the legislative powers. Also, such an assembly may be self-serving and thus in course of time would stop serving the society as a whole.
The executive and legislative powers should be vested in different arms and there needs to be a separate assembly (called council) with some executive powers which can serve as a mediator between the two. This should be chosen from amongst the elected members but should function independently. Further, the legislature as a whole must elect a governor to head the council through joint ballot system. Also, the elections of representatives and counsellors should be carried out on an annual basis. This is imperative to ensure that the accountability remains. The legislature should be provided with the requisite flexibility to fix the tenure of the governor as it deems necessary for the welfare of the society. Also, a privy council should be constituted consisting of five to seven members belonging to the legislature so as to provide advice to the governor. Additionally, rotation of offices should also be encouraged if feasible. The governor would be the supreme commander of all armed forces and would have the pardoning power. Further, the various officers belonging to civil, military or judicial sphere have to be appointed and nominated by governor acting with the consent of the council. Further, the judiciary should be independent of the other two arms i.e. legislature and executive. Besides, the judges could be impeached for inappropriate conduct by the House of Representatives. Hence, based on the above, it is fair to conclude that current model of governance prevalent in the US owes strongly to the principles outlined by Adams and Paine and hence led to the paving of a governance system distinguish from the British governance system.