CHAPTER II
THE BASES OF ENGLISH GOVERNMENT

1. THE LAND

The influence of geography on government has been suggested in numerous learned works. Nevertheless, no great learning--indeed, no great imagination--is required, in order to apprehend the importance of the fact that Great Britain is an island. A traditional connection with the sea has for long centuries influenced, and continues to influence, in countless ways the British way of looking at things. The isolation of an insular position has, of course, been largely responsible for a feeling of relative security. This feeling, in turn, has corresponded closely with fact. The island has been secure. Though, in its early history, it was often overrun, it has not in any real sense been invaded since the Norman Conquest. The simple connection of this with the important fact, worthy of frequent repetition, that English political and constitutional history has been a largely unbroken development, is manifest.

Perhaps the simplest fundamental way of viewing the connection between geography and government is in terms of a political distinction made by Aristotle. The Father of Political Science differentiated the state as viewed in terms of mere existence from the state as thought of in terms of its ultimate purpose. Under the first aspect, the state "makes life possible." The ultimate purpose of the state is to further the "good life." Yet, as is so often the case with distinctions, the two aspects of the matter are closely interconnected. Thus, when mere existence is precarious, when the problem of mere existence is so acute as to demand primary attention, then the matter of the good life ten to sink into the background. The

-7-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Government of England
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 332

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?