THIS study of the British and American constitutional systems was begun while Mr. Harold Stannard was editing a series of pamphlets on current international problems for the Royal Institute of International Affairs, for inclusion in that series. In the course of writing, the author came to the conclusion that the subject merited fuller treatment than could be given in a pamphlet. Hence the present extended essay which Mr. Stannard has described in his introduction as "tentative steps in an almost untrodden field of comparative study." The traditional writing on comparative government, he held, has been too easily satisfied with a juxtaposition of national systems, each treated individually in accordance with its own structural maxims; but the truly comparative character of such studies has been neglected. Moreover, what has been accomplished in recent decades through historical and sociological analysis seemed to call for another effort, on a different level of experience, to clarify the meaning of terms commonly used and all too often abused in public discussion. In this attempt at semantic reduction lies perhaps the greatest value of the present study. Without such attempts, international understanding must be handicapped by misconceptions arising from the inadequacies of linguistic expression.