The role that the principle of “don't tread on me” plays in a republican society has been explained by Machiavelli. In the Discourses on Livy, he points out that the citizens of republics dislike being dominated. If the nobles try to usurp too much power, they will have to face the wrath of the citizens. He advises the nobles to avoid “treading” on the rights of the citizens. He praises the founders of republican nations and the citizens for their goodness and virtue and their love of liberty. He claims that in republics, the citizens hold superior moral values and political sense than the nobles (the leaders of the government).
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