KING, PRESIDENT, PRIME MINISTER
KINGSHIP as introduced into England by the Saxon invaders was an elective institution. The Saxon King was the leader of his people in peace and war, particularly in war, and a certain Teutonic quality that Tacitus noted nearly nineteen hundred years ago in his book on Germany made the people obey as freemen and not as slaves and caused them to insist upon their own choice of the leader into whose keeping they were entrusting their lives. In this rudimentary form, at the outset of their political development, the ancestors of the English realised and applied the great truth that for all time to come was to guide the political sense of their descendants, that government is by the consent of the governed.
Two considerations, however, tended to restrict the field of choice of a King. One was that a man capable of governing was most likely to be found in the circles with experience of government; the other, which became more important as the Saxon community settled down and the King was less likely to die in battle, was that a reigning King was particularly qualified to indicate his successor. It was this consideration that