"We may look up to Armies for our Defence, but Virtue is our best Security...Virtues & vices which are properly called political; 'Corruption, Dishonesty to one's Country, Luxury and Extravagance tend to the Ruin of States.' The opposite Virtues tend to their Establishment" -- Samuel Adams; letter to James Warren
The original intent of American Republicanism was that of separating from European imperialism, not merely in allegiance, but in principal as well. Discarded were the feudal principals as described by Thomas Jefferson:
"...to constrain the brute force of the people, they deem it necessary to keep them down by hard labor, poverty and ignorance, and to take from them, as from bees, so much of their earnings, as that unremitting labor shall be necessary to obtain a sufficient surplus barely to sustain a scanty and miserable life. And these earnings they apply to maintain their privileged orders in splendor and idleness, to fascinate the eyes of the people, and excite in them an humble adoration and submission, as to an order of superior beings"
in place of this most un-American function of government, a new order was aspired to, according to the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God" for such political equality as Samuel Adams would defend so:
"Were the talents and virtues which heaven has bestowed on men given merely to make them more obedient drudges, to be sacrificed to the follies and ambition of a few? Or, were not the noble gifts so equally dispensed with a divine purpose and law, that they should as nearly as possible be equally exerted, and the blessings of Providence be equally enjoyed by all? Away, then, with those absurd systems which to gratify the pride of a few debase the greater part of our species below the order of men."
In that factions were apt to develope between various classes and interests, the primary author of our Constitutional document--James Madison--explained that:
"The great object should be to combat the evil: 1. By establishing a political equality among all; 2. By witholding unnecessary opportunities from a few to increase the inequality of property by an immoderate, and especially an unmerited, accumulation of riches; 3. By the silent operation of laws which, without violating the rights of property, reduce extreme wealth towards a state of mediocrity and raise extreme indigence towards a state of comfort; 4. By abstaining from measures which operate differently on different interests, and particularly such as favor one interest at the expense of another; 5. By making one party a check on the other so far as the existence of parties cannot be prevented nor their views accommodated. If this is not the language of reason, it is that of republicanism."
Of course a government mitigated by popular sentiments was to require a general dispersion of knowledge, that individuals and society as a whole were able to--to a greater degee--self-govern. Madison expresses this necessity so:
"why should it be necessary... to distinguish the Society into classes according to their property? ...it is better for the poorer classes to have the aid of the richer by a general tax on property, than that every parent should provide at his own expence for the education of his children, it is certain that every Class is interested in establishments which give to the human mind its highest improvements, and to every Country its truest and most durable celebrity... Without such Institutions, the more costly of which can scarcely be provided by individual means, none but the few whose wealth enables them to support their sons abroad can give them the fullest education; and in proportion as this is done, the influence is monopolized which superior information every where possesses. At cheaper & nearer seats of Learning parents with slender incomes may place their sons in a course of education putting them on a level with the sons of the Richest. Whilst those who are without property, or with but little, must be peculiarly interested in a System which unites with the more Learned Institutions, a provision for diffusing through the entire Society the education needed for the common purposes of life"