What, I ask you, is the distinctive difference between the inhabitants of a monarchy and those of a republic, except that in the monarchy the people are subjects; helpless, powerless, bound to obey laws made by superiors - while in the republic, the people are citizens; individual sovereigns, all clothed with equal power, to make and unmake both their laws and law makers.
The moment you deprive a person of his right to a voice in the government, you degrade him; from the status of a citizen of the republic, to that of a subject. And, it matters very little to him whether his monarch is an individual tyrant, as is the Czar of Russia, or a 15,000,000-headed monster, as here in the United States. He is a powerless subject; serf or slave and not a free and independent citizen in any sense.
We put forth that the use of the masculine pronouns he, his and him, in all the constitutions and laws, is proof that only men were meant to be included in their provisions. If you insist on this version of the letter of the law, we shall insist that you be consistent, and accept the other horn of the dilemma, which would compel you to exempt women from taxation for the support of the government, and from penalties for the violation of laws.
Which word best describes the main idea of the passage?