The Making of the English Constitution, 449-1485

The Making of the English Constitution, 449-1485

The Making of the English Constitution, 449-1485

The Making of the English Constitution, 449-1485

Excerpt

A text in English constitutional history which is neither antiquated nor obscure has long been needed. It has been the author's ambition to meet this need. In preparing the present book, he has made three main assumptions: that a college text in history should be brief, and designed for the accompaniment of much collateral reading; that it is impossible in the medieval period, with which this volume is concerned, to combine the narrative of English history and an account of the making of the constitution; and that to follow rigidly either the chronological or topical arrangement in a constitutional history of England does violence to the nature of the subject. It has been taken for granted that the student will use some good text to acquaint himself thoroughly with the general history of a period before attempting to study its institutions; and, in the matter of arrangement, it has been the aim to show the general evolution of the English government as a whole, without, at the same time, artificially dividing the great topics into reigns or other time units. A constant compromise between the demands of chronology and the desire for continuity in the treatment of the theme in hand has been found necessary.

The emphasis throughout has been upon evolution rather than upon description. The purpose has been to furnish a logically satisfying account of the genesis of each institution as far as present knowledge permits -- to show exactly how it has become what it is. This has made it necessary to hold steadfastly to a given line of . . .

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