Brownson does an excellent job of surveying Maistre's generative theory of constitutions here and he is correct that Maistre believed the principle applied to both absolute monarchies and republics. Brownson is also correct in his conclusion that Maistre believed different constitutions were appropriate for different peoples at different times. However, this relativist perspective did not prevent Maistre from affixing restrictions to different constitutions. Most important in the context of Brownson's America is Maistre's conclusion, found in the
, that the concept "large republic" is analytically impossible (like the concept of a square circle) because it is practically impossible to take the representative principle of the republic (that every man rules and is ruled in turn) and apply it to a nation with a large population. Indeed Maistre calculates that Frenchmen would have to live thousands of years in order to truly satisfy the republican principle of representation on such a scale. Thus the question did not concern, for Maistre, whether republics were superior in theory to monarchies, but rather whether the nation would adequately be cared for, either by a set of transient representatives who could never truly represent the French population, or a permanent owner and caretaker of the country.