Constitutional and Legal History of England

Constitutional and Legal History of England

Constitutional and Legal History of England

Constitutional and Legal History of England

Excerpt

Twenty years have now elapsed since Professor G. B. Adams published his Constitutional History of England, and many more since the first appearance of the English manuals on this subject by T. P. Taswell-Langmead and F. C. Montague. In the intervening decades changes have taken place that seem to make a new textbook in this field desirable for American students. In addition to the progress of research and the corresponding development of new points of view there have been major alterations in the curricula of American educational institutions. Courses in general European history, or even the history of civilization, have commonly replaced those in English history at the high-school and junior-college level. The student therefore comes to the subject of English constitutional history with far less of the particular background needed than his predecessors used to have. On the other hand, the course is now frequently included in a "new plan" law curriculum which distributes what was formerly prelegal work throughout the entire program, and thus demands of constitutional history a closer integration with legal work than was hitherto necessary.

Because current curricula are crowded, this is a brief book. Many topics generally deemed important have perforce been treated in a few words or omitted altogether. If the expert reader is shocked at finding cavalier pronouncements on questions which for years have puzzled specialists, his painful sensations will be as nothing to those of the author, who has been forced so often to make use of the textbook writer's license. With what twinges of conscience I have spoken on matters still sub judice, or on which I ought to be better informed, the shades of earlier textbook writers may bear witness. My only justification is that I

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