The Modern Development of City Government in the United Kingdom and the United States

By Ernest S. Griffith | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THIS book is the outcome of research spread over the years from 1918 to 1926. The greater part was done during three years at Oxford and one year at Princeton. My interest in the subject dates partly from undergraduate work at Hamilton under Professors Davenport and Clark and partly from participation in municipal discussions and lectures in Utica immediately after the War.

At the outset I was a believer in centralization; but, as the evidence began to unfold, my opinion reluctantly but none the less surely changed to a profound suspicion of the wisdom of central interference in city government. This and the belief in the efficacy of a tax on the capital value of land as part of a sound system of taxation are the main conclusions.

I have to thank too many people to hope to mention all by name. Public officials of both nations were ever willing to assist, and gave freely of their time and interest. A similar acknowledgment must be made to the staffs of the various libraries where much of the study was done. Mr. J. J. Clarke of Liverpool University and Mr. G. Montagu Harris of the Ministry of Health have kindly read the manuscript, and have made several valuable suggestions. The chapter on the Finance of the City owes a similar debt to Professor Macgregor of Oxford. Finally, my chief debt is to Professor W. G. S. Adams, my Oxford supervisor, who guided my study from its commencement.

LIVERPOOL, December 1926.

-v-

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