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state the arguments, if any, which he thought recommended or discountenanced its adoption. If there was any political movement in the country which was at present obscure, but which the writer believed would soon become momentous, he had no alternative but to express his opinions unreservedly.
The writer need not describe in this place the respectful courtesy with which his work has, at every stage of it, been treated by those for whom it was originally intended. He believes that he has responded to this courtesy by doing his utmost to represent the facts as they are, neither coloured nor discoloured. Much is to be learnt from a faithful study of the English Constitution, but that much will not be learnt from those who ignorantly praise or as ignorantly blame it. The English Constitution is the product of innumerable social forces acting through a long series of years; and if, on the whole, the good predominates, it is only because good men have been stronger than evil men. The great danger to the Constitution at the present moment is from the accidental and hap-hazard legislation which is now possible and, indeed, habitual in the House of Commons. The claims upon legislative interference are so countless and constantly on the increase that the only topics which can, by possibility, secure full public discussion are those which either affect the momentary balance of the great Political Parties, or have successfully appealed to the ignorance of a considerable section of the population. For most other topics, affecting the remedy of long-subsisting though obscure abuses, or the elevation of depressed classes, or the advance of some ably-conceived
governmental policy requiring many years for its completion, Parliament is too often precipitately rash, or stupidly apathetic, or doggedly antagonistic. The worst, too, is that the very ear of Parliament is getting dull of hearing, inasmuch as the best established moral and political principles, whether affecting Public Liberty, or Public Morals, or the Province of Government, are hardly listened to with patience, while the most superficial generalisation that comes in the guise of figures is eagerly devoured. The cure for this state of things is moral rather than political, and must be sought most of all in such a liberal and widely diffused education, as, coupled with a more effective representation of all classes of society in the House of Commons, may once again enthrone Justice and Liberty in their ancient seat.
A fuller account of the Political Terms explained will be found in the author's Systematic View of the Science of Jurisprudence. The section on the "Method of Collecting Government Statistics" has been included on account of the descriptive picture it presents of the breadth and accuracy of the information needed in governmental administration.
9, King's Bench Walk,
FOR THE USE OF YOUNG STUDENTS, THE FOLLOWING
EXPLANATIONS OF COMMON POLITICAL TERMS ARE
STATE. (1) A portion of the human race, occupying a definite territory, having a continuous history, and organised for purposes of Government. The word is also sometimes (2) used to express the Supreme Political Authority of a nation at a given time.
GOVERNMENT.-The word sometimes (1) is used to express the mere fact of some person or persons in a nation being generally obeyed by all the rest. Sometimes (2) the word signifies the Supreme Political Authority at the time,—as in the phrase "Form of Government." Sometimes (3) the word signifies the persons entrusted with the active duties of carrying laws into effect and regulating certain departments of the State,— as in the phrases "The Queen's Government," "A Liberal or a Conservative Government."
LAW.-(1) A Law is a command of the Supreme Political Authority
purporting to direct or control the acts of persons in the community. The word Law is also (2) used to denote either a body of Laws (in the first sense), or (abstractly) the mere fact of such Laws existing, as in the phrase "under the empire of Law." The word "Law" is also used in a variety of other senses for non-political purposes.
LEGISLATIVE.-The Legislative Authority of a State is the Supreme
Political Authority looked upon as engaged in making Laws.
EXECUTIVE, ADMINISTRATIVE.-These terms are sometimes used convertibly with each other, to express the person or persons to whom the Supreme Political Authority deputes the functions (1) of carrying Laws into effect, and (2) of actively regulating certain departments of the State,-in other words, the term signifies the Government in the third of the meanings above given. Sometimes the term Administrative is opposed to Executive, and is limited to express the person or persons charged with regulating certain departments of the State.
JUDICIAL. The Judicial Authority is that part of the Executive Authority which is concerned with formally and publicly investigating whether Laws have been disobeyed, and who are the persons who have disobeyed them.
MONARCHY.-A form of Government in which the Supreme Political Authority is either restricted in numbers to one person only ("Absolute" Monarchy or "Despotism"), or is, in form, restricted to one person, though the power is shared to a greater or less extent by a larger or smaller number of other persons, chosen in a variety of possible ways ("Limited" Monarchy).
ARISTOCRACY, OLIGARCHY.-Where the Supreme Political Authority consists of a number of persons, though not a very large number, and chosen either with reference to birth, or to special personal merit, or to some other standard than that supplied by popular election irresponsibly exercised, the form of Government is said by its friends and enemies to be am Aristocracy, and sometimes, by its enemies, to be an Oligarchy, that is, "Government by a few.”
DEMOCRACY.-Where the Supreme Political Authority either consists of a very large number of persons, making a considerable fraction of all the persons in the community,—or where the persons constituting that Authority are directly elected by, and subjected to no other conditions than those implied in the unrestricted choice of, nearly all the persons in the community, the form of Government is said to be a Democracy.
REPUBLIC. This is a term often equally used by the friends both of an Aristocracy and a Democracy to describe those two forms of Government. Where the Supreme Political Authority consists of a number of persons neither very great nor very small, and it is believed those persons are selected on principles likely to conduce in the highest degree to the well-being of the whole community, and the suppression of personal self-seeking, the form of Government is said to be a Republic.
CONSTITUTION, CONSTITUTIONAL.-All the Laws and all the customary practices which, taken together, determine the person or persons who shall constitute the Supreme Political Authority of a State, and which ascertain the modes of Legislation, and the method of appointing and restricting the Executive Authority, are compendiously styled the Constitution of that State. According as a newly-suggested measure is or is not believed to conform to those laws and practices it is said to be Constitutional or Unconstitutional.
RIGHT.—(1) A Right is a measure of power delegated by the State to persons, said to be thereby invested with the right, over the acts of other persons said to be thereby made liable to the performance of a duty. This is the strict political sense of the term, though the term has important moral and popular uses from which the above use has to be carefully distinguished. In this strict use, every right pre-supposes a duty, though every legal duty does not pre-suppose a legal right. The State, which is the source of all legal rights and duties, cannot be strictly said to have legal rights itself, though it may confer on all the official persons who are engaged in its administration such rights as are needed for the purposes of their work.