The English Constitution
A classic study of the British constitution, paying special attention to how Parliament and the monarchy work. The author frequently draws comparisons with the American Constitution, being generally critical of the American system of government.
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Even if there had been no Reform Act , this single cause would have . effected
grave alterations . The mere settlement of the Reform question made a great
change too . If it could have been settled by any other change , or even without
New questions would have appeared at once . A political country is like an
American forest : you have only to cut down the old trees , and immediately new
trees come up to replace them ; the seeds were waiting in the ground , and they
The grave question now is , How far will this peculiar old system continue and
how far will it be altered ? ... I cannot expect that the new class of voters will be at
all more able to form sound opinions on complex questions than the old voters .
The real question is , Will they submit to it , will they defer in the same way to
wealth and rank , and to the higher qualities of which these are the rough
symbols and the common accompaniments ? There is a peculiar difficulty in
answering this ...
The common ordinary mind is quite unfit to fix for itself what political question it
shall attend to ; it is as much as it can do to judge decently of the questions which
drift down to it , and are brought before it ; it almost never settles its topics ; it can
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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