DE LOLME, HISTOIRE DES DEUX INDES & THE NATURE OF THE EXECUTIVE POWER
AM | @agumack
Reflecting on the lack of a proper executive power in the Netherlands, Alexandre Deleyre writes: "Il résulte d’un ordre de choses si compliqué que les résolutions qui exigeroient le plus de secret & de célérité, sont nécessairement lentes & publiques" (HDI 1780, xix.2). Secret & célérité are two of the key attributes of any executive authority in a well organized polity. In chapter 10 of Book VI, Hernán Cortés's retreat from Mexico City is described by Raynal as follows: "L'éxécution de ce projet exigeoit une grande célérité, un secret impénétrable".
Now look at the words used by John Adams to describe the executive power: "A representative assembly, although extremely well qualified, and absolutely necessary, as a branch of the legislative, is unfit to exercise the executive power, for want of two essential properties, secrecy and despatch" ("Thoughts on Government", 1776). And here's Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 70:"Decision, activity, secrecy, and despatch will generally characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number".
The missing link, ladies and gentlemen, is Jean-Louis De Lolme's book on La Constitution de l'Angleterre (London, 1771). More on this issue in the coming weeks ... or in chapter 6 of the book!