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THE task essayed in this work involves an attempt to draw out, within the limits of two octavo volumes, the entire historic development of the English constitutional system, and the growth out of that system of the federal republic of the United States. In the Introduction an effort has been made to emphasize the fact that the constitutional histories of England and of the United States constitute a continuous and natural evolution which can only be fully mastered when viewed as one unbroken story. That story the author has attempted to unfold in the light of the latest researches, - English, German, French, and American, and in such a manner as to impart to it something of a human interest. The double effort has been made to satisfy the critical student of the "Science of Politics" as to fulness and accuracy of detail, and at the same time to interest every American citizen who desires to read within reasonable limits the entire history of the wonderful constitution under which he lives.

The growth of English and American constitutions, considered as a single progressive development, is a subject of paramount importance and of almost universal interest. By the sixteenth century nearly every effort that had been made to establish representative government upon the continent of Europe had come to an end. In England only, among the Teutonic nations, did the representative system survive; in England only has the representative principle-which has been called "a Teutonic invention"-been able to maintain a continuous existence. In that way the English nation has been able to hand down the representative principle from the barbarian epoch to modern times; in that way England has become the "mother of parliaments," the teacher of the science of representative government to all the world. Since the beginning of the French Revolution nearly all the states of continental Europe have organized national assemblies after the model of the English

parliament in a spirit of conscious imitation. But the typical English national assembly, embodying what is generally known as the bicameral system, was not copied into the continental European constitutions until it had first been reproduced in a modified form and popularized by the founders of the federal republic of the United States. In the several colonial commonwealths founded by English settlers upon American soil, the typical English national assembly reappeared in an embryonic form as the predestined product of a natural process of reproduction; and the framers of the federal constitution of 1787, abandoning the original idea of a federal assembly consisting of a single chamber, adopted the English system of two chambers in the form in which that system had reappeared in the several states. Thus rendered popular by its successful reproduction in the American constitutions, state and federal, the "British political mode was followed by France, by Spain and Portugal, and by Holland and Belgium, combined in the kingdom of the Netherlands; and after a long interval by Germany, Italy, and Austria." To the student of the "Science of Politics" the typical English national assembly, therefore, appears not simply as the local legislature of the United Kingdom, nor even as the imperial parliament of the British Empire, but higher still, as the accepted model of popular government throughout the world.

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Until recently the attainment of a full and comprehensive knowledge of this all-important subject was beset with serious difficulties, which can be explained only through a brief exposition of the peculiar manner in which the history of the English people has been written. The English language had grown old, and English literature had passed what has been called its Augustan age, before any serious effort was ever made to open up the vast domain of English history. With the richest accumulation of historical records in all Europe-"whether we consider them in relation to antiquity, to continuity, to variety, to extent, or to amplitude of facts and details "2-mouldering beneath their feet, English scholars, until very recent times, were content to shed light upon every theme save that involved in the history of their own country. Not until near the close of the last century was any deliberate effort ever made to write the history of the English people. 1 Sir Henry Maine, Popular Government, P. 13.

2 The words of Sir Francis Palgrave, under whose auspices as deputy keeper the public

records were, in 1858, finally brought together under the roof of the present Record Repository.

And when the investigation was at last begun, it was prosecuted according to the method which has prevailed in the exploration of the Nile, whose course has been mapped out by explorers who have slowly ascended from its mouths to its source. Beginning with modern times, the English historians have gradually worked backward until at last the sources have been reached. This assertion can easily be maintained by a few familiar illustrations. Hume began his "History of England" with the accession of the house of Stuart, -the volumes which treat of the preceding period were pinned on as an after-thought. How innocent Hume was of any real knowledge of the early and medieval history of England he puts beyond all question when he tells us in his autobiography that, prior to the accession of the house of Stuart, "it is ridiculous to consider the English constitution . . . as a regular plan of liberty." Hallam began his "Constitutional History" with the accession of the house of Tudor, three meagre chapters in the Middle Ages sufficed to contain all he desired to say of the preceding period. The magnificent ruin known as Macaulay's "History of England" really begins with the accession of the house of Stuart, — a single chapter sufficed to con tain all that the most brilliant and the most inquisitive of Englishmen cared to say of the ten eventful centuries which precede that event. Some deep and serious reason must certainly have impelled three minds at once so acute and comprehensive to pass so lightly over the early and medieval history of their country in order to begin their narrations in comparatively modern times. That reason is not hard to find. The truth is, until recently, the real history of early and medieval England has remained a sealed book. Only within the last fifty years have the charters, chronicles, and memorials in which was entombed the early history of the English people been made accessible; and only within the last twenty years have they been subjected to the final analysis which has at last extracted from them their full and true significance. These facts become more comprehensible when we remember that only within the period last named has the study of history, as a distinct and substantive branch of knowledge, been raised to an independent position at the two great English universities. Not until 1870 was the study of modern history put upon an independent footing at Oxford; and not until 1875 was a separate tripos for universal history instituted at Cambridge. But when the

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emancipation of history was thus finally brought about, the work was done with genuine English thoroughness. Under the influence of Professors Stubbs and Freeman at Oxford, and Professor Seeley at Cambridge, the scientific study of history has at last been carried to as high a point in England as it has ever reached upon the Continent.1

Sharon Turner tells us, in the preface to his "History of the AngloSaxons," published between 1799 and 1805, that when his first volume appeared, "the subject of the Anglo-Saxon antiquities had been nearly forgotten by the British public. . . . The Anglo-Saxon MSS. lay still unexamined, and neither their contents nor the important facts which the ancient writers and records of other nations had preserved of the transactions and fortunes of our ancestors had been ever made a part of our general history." The honest effort made by Turner to arouse his countrymen to a sense of interest in the beginnings of their national life was followed in 1800 by an inquiry in parliament into the state of the public records, which resulted in an able report upon the condition of the archives, and in the appointment of a commission "to methodize, regulate, and digest the records." The conduct of the work of preservation and publication proving unsatisfactory in the hands of the Record Commission, its direction was finally intrusted to the Master of the Rolls, who in January, 1857, "submitted to the Treasury a proposal for the publication of materials for the history of this country from the invasion of the Romans to the reign of Henry VIII." Invaluable as are the official publications, which have been prefaced and edited by the most competent critics and scholars that the Master of the Rolls could draw to his aid, they can never overshadow or supersede the works of one who was the real path-breaker into the jungle of early English history. To Kemble belongs the imperishable honor of being the first to bring to light the most valuable of the early records, and to apply to their interpretation the rich results of German research into the childhood of the whole Teutonic race. No matter whether the Germans drove the English into historical scholarship or not, the fact remains that Kemble, who studied under the brothers Grimm at Göttingen, was the first to reject every suggestion of Roman influence, and to clearly perceive the all-impor

1 See "The Study of History in England at the University of Ghent, Johns Hopkins and Scotland," by Paul Frédéricq, professor Studies, fifth series, x. pp. 17, 32.

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