The English Constitution
Oxford University Press, Mar 26, 2009 - History - 256 pages
'An ancient and ever-altering constitution is like an old man who still wears with attached fondness clothes in the fashion of his youth: what you see of him is the same; what you do not see is wholly altered.' Walter Bagehot's The English Constitution (1867) is the best account of the history and working of the British political system ever written. As arguments raged in mid-Victorian Britain about giving the working man the vote, and democracies overseas were pitched into despotism and civil war, Bagehot took a long, cool look at the 'dignified' and 'efficient' elements which made the English system the envy of the world. His analysis of the monarchy, the role of the prime minister and cabinet, and comparisons with the American presidential system are astute and timeless, and pertinent to current discussions surrounding devolution and electoral reform. Combining the wit and panache of a journalist with the wisdom of a man of letters steeped in evolutionary ideas and historical knowledge, Bagehot produced a book which is always thoughtful, often funny, and seldom dull. This edition reproduces Bagehot's original 1867 work in full, and introduces the reader to the dramatic political events that surrounded its publication. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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able action administration American argument assembly authority Bagehot believe better body cabinet cabinet government called chamber choose classes course critical defect difficulty discussion educated effect election England English Constitution equal executive existence fact feeling force function George give greatest half head House of Commons House of Lords ideas important influence institutions interest John king least legislation legislature less live London look Lord John Russell majority matter means mind minister ministry monarch nation nature never object once opinion Parliament parliamentary party peers perhaps persons political popular possible present President principle Queen question reason reform representatives result rule social society sort sovereign speak sure theory things thought true vote Whig whole wish