Bagehot: The English Constitution

Bagehot: The English Constitution

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Walter Bagehot's anatomy of The English Constitution is a classic of English political writing. In this new Cambridge Texts edition it appears for the first time in its original (1867) book version, with Bagehot's original conclusion, and the substantial introduction written for the second edition of 1872. Paul Smith's introduction places Bagehot's views in the context of contemporary events and prevalent views of the working of the constitution, indicating their relation to his developing ideas on the anthropological and sociological springs of authority. He assesses the accuracy of Bagehot's account of parliamentary government in operation, and the strength of Bagehot's analysis of the difficulties faced by British liberalism in coming to terms with the approach of democracy. All the usual student-friendly features of the Cambridge Texts series are present, including a select bibliography and brief biographies of key figures, and annotation which explains some of Bagehot's more arcane contemporary allusions.show more

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"Helpful yet unobtrusive, Smith's is an ideal introduction for those seeking to locate Bagehot in the context of his time or for those looking for an informed summary of his argument, motivation, and general purpose." Adam Tomkins, University of Oxford, Constitutional Commentary "This is one of those rare, intelligent treasures that one cherishes...In essence this is the ideal instrument for teaching about Bagehot's view of the Constitution. This edition is far more useful for the classroom." British Politics Groupshow more

Table of contents

Editor's introduction; Principal events in Bagehot's life; Note on the text and annotation; The English Constitution: Advertisement; 1. The cabinet; 2. The pre-requisites of cabinet government, and the peculiar form which they have assumed in England; 3. The monarchy; 4. The monarchy (continued); 5. The House of Lords; 6. The House of Commons; 7. On changes of ministry; 8. Its supposed checks and balances; 9. Its history, and the effects of that history; Conclusion; Introduction to the second edition (1872); Notes; Biographical notes on persons mentioned in the text; Bibliographical note; Index.show more