National Governments and the World War

National Governments and the World War

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National Governments and the World War

National Governments and the World War

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Excerpt

If the World War has demonstrated one thing above another, it is the power of political institutions, ideals, and practices-- national and international--to contribute to or detract from human welfare. The late conflict arrayed state against state, people against people; yet it was, at bottom, a struggle between two great schemes of human government,--autocracy and democracy. On the field of battle, democracy has triumphed. The victory can, however, be regarded as complete and final only in the measure in which democracy is prepared to bring intelligence and sanity to the new and great tasks which it has assumed. Even Americans and Englishmen need a fuller realization of the bearings of governmental organization and practice upon public well-being, a better knowledge of the political experience and problems of other peoples, and a new enthusiasm for national and international reconstruction on lines such as will conserve the dearly-bought gains of the recent conflict.

The present volume is offered as an aid to the diffusion of this sort of knowledge and spirit. It deals mainly with comparative government and undertakes to show what the heritage and genius of the principal peoples lately engaged in the World War have meant in the shaping of contemporary political institutions and ideas. It seeks also to describe the great changes wrought in governmental organization and procedure during the war, and to point out the major political problems that remain for settlement during the early years of peace.

The first of the authors named on the title page is responsible for Chapters IX-XXVI inclusive, and for Chapter XXVIII; the second, for Chapters I-VIII inclusive, and for Chapter XXVII. F. A. O. C. A. B. December 12, 1918.

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