The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution 1625-1660

The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution 1625-1660

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The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution 1625-1660

The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution 1625-1660

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Revolutions, no less than smaller political changes, are to be accounted for as steps in the historical development of nations. They are more violent, and of longer duration, in proportion to the stubborn resistance opposed to them by the institutions which stand in their way; and the stubbornness of that resistance is derived from the services which the assailed institutions have rendered in the past, and which are remembered in their favour after they have ceased to be applicable to the real work of the day, or at least have become inapplicable without serious modification.

On the other hand, many who, throwing off the conservatism of habit, have bent themselves to sweep away the hindrances which bar the path of political progress, show an eagerness to put all established authority to the test, and to replace all existing institutions by new ones more in accordance with their ideal of a perfect State -- an ideal which, under all circumstances, is necessarily imperfect. Revolutions, therefore, unavoidably teem with disappointment to their promoters. Schemes are carried out, either blundering in themselves or too little in accordance with the general opinion of the time to root themselves in the conscience of the nation; and, before many years have passed away, those who were the most ardent revolutionists; looking back upon their baffled hopes, declare that nothing worthy of the occasion has been accomplished.

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