Essays on Government

Essays on Government

Essays on Government

Essays on Government

Excerpt

In this second and revised edition of Essays on Government one of the essays of the first edition has been omitted, and two new essays have been included. The essay omitted is an essay on the Government of the Third French Republic, which is now -- at any rate in part -- out of date. The new essays included are the essay on the theory of the Social Contract in Locke, Rousseau, and Hume, and that on St. Augustine's theory of society. The essay on British Constitutional Monarchy has been revised and expanded, and some changes have also been made in the essay on the Parliamentary System of Government: the other essays in this volume which appeared in the first edition (II, V, VI, VII, and IX) are reprinted in their original form. The omission of some of the old matter and the addition of two new essays have made it possible to divide the volume into three parts, each containing a number of connected and related essays.

The first Part is mainly concerned with political institutions. Two of the three essays which it contains -- the first and the third -- were originally written and published as pamphlets during the course of the War of 1939-45. One of these essays was intended to explain to readers in other countries the nature and the working of British Constitutional Monarchy; and it appeared originally not only in English, but also in other languages. The other, that on the Parliamentary System of Government, was intended to serve both French and English readers, and it therefore appeared originally both in an English and in a French version. The remaining essay in the first Part, on British Statesmen, first appeared as one of the volumes in the series Britain in Pictures, edited by the lateW. J. Turner and published by the firm of Collins. The author is indebted to the editor and the publishers for permission to reprint the essay.

The second Part is concerned with some issues of political theory during the century which lies between the publication of Locke Two Treatises on Government (1690) and the composition of Burke Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). One of the essays in this Part, that on Blackstone and the British Constitution, appeared for the first time in the first edition of this book.

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