Political Thought in England 1848 to 1914

Political Thought in England 1848 to 1914

Political Thought in England 1848 to 1914

Political Thought in England 1848 to 1914

Excerpt

This is a reprint, with some few changes in the last few pages, of the original book as it was published during the early months of the War of 1914-18. No attempt has been made to 'bring it up to date', or to revise the verdicts passed by the author in what now seems a different age--an age when politics were domestic politics, and peace still seemed the habit of life. A Thirty Years War--one-third of it open, and two-thirds raging beneath the surface--has darkened the skies since the book was written. Revision will one day be needed --if the book and its author still live; but revision must wait until some vantage-point has been reached from which it is possible to look back, in the light (as it were) of the darkness through which we have passed, and to see the true significance of the period of thought which preceded the storm.

Meanwhile there may still be some value in a record (put together just at its close, and couched in its current ideas and terms) of the period of English political thought which lasted from 1848 to 1914. There is an interest in remembering what we were thinking when the storm broke; and a view of the period taken just at its close-- different as it may be from the view which might be taken/sub specie hodierni diei--has perhaps some sort of historical value. At any rate the reader, riper by a whole generation of experience than the writer was when he wrote this book, will be able to judge how far he spoke prudently, and how far at random, about the current tendencies, and the future possibilities, of political thought in England on the eve of the Thirty Years War.

ERNEST BARKER

17 CRANMER ROAD CAMBRIDGE April 1946

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