The English Constitution
Chronicling the past is much easier than chronicling the present, which was exactly Walter Bagehot's project when writing The English Constitution, first published in 1873. His ambitious undertaking was to describe the British government as it actually worked during 1865 and 1866. Government as it functions is very different from the government as it is spelled out on paper. Many factors, including the mindset of the people and the habits of those already in government, affect how a country is run. Political scientists and historians will find Bagehot's commentary on the living English government and invaluable tool in understanding the politics of the era. British journalist WALTER BAGEHOT (1826-1877) was an early editor of The Economist and was among the first economists to discuss the concept of the business cycle. He is also the author of Physics and Politics (1872) and The Postulates of English Political Economy (1885).
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - patito-de-hule - LibraryThing
Walter Bagehot was editor of the Economist and his name is still on the weekly page about England. This book describes the English Constitution and compares it favorably with the United States Constitution. Read full review
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administration American arguments aristocracy assembly authority better Bill cabinet government chamber choose classes committee constitutional monarch critical Crown defect despotic difficulty discussion duties eager educated effect elected electors England English Constitution evil executive Executive Government fact feeling foreign free government function George George III give greatest head hereditary House of Commons House of Lords House of Peers imagine influence interest judgment king leader legislation legislature liament look Lord Palmerston matter ment mind minister ministry monarch nation nature never opinion organisation Parlia Parliament parliamentary government party peculiar peers perhaps persons plutocracy political popular premier present President presidential government presidential system principle Queen questions Reform royalty rule rulers Sir George Lewis society sort sovereign speak statesmen sure theory things thought tion Tory treaty truth vote Whig whole wish
Page xxxviii - Commanding-in-Chief downwards ; she could dismiss all the sailors too ; she could sell off all our ships of war and all our naval stores ; she could make a peace by the sacrifice of Cornwall, and begin a war for the conquest of Brittany. She could make every citizen in the United Kingdom, male or female, a peer ; she could make every parish in the United Kingdom a " university ;" she could dismiss most of the civil servants ; she could pardon all offenders.
Page xxiii - But in all cases it must be remembered that a political combination of the lower classes, as such and for their own objects, is an evil of the first magnitude; that a permanent combination of them would make them (now that so many of them have the suffrage) supreme in the country; and that their supremacy, in the state they now are, means the supremacy of ignorance over instruction and of numbers over knowledge.
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