The English Constitution

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$11.32
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.75
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 58%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $5.75   
  • New (5) from $8.07   
  • Used (5) from $5.75   

Overview

At a time when constitutional issues are assuming a greater importance in public life than they have held for perhaps 25 years, it seems a particularly apt moment to re-publish Walter Bagehot's classic analysis of the constitution. Major changes to the constitution are promised by the new Labour government, and the political controversy over these suggests that changes generated during the 1997 election campaign have thrust critical analysis of the constitution once more into the limelight.

The English Constitution provides the most lucid and readable account of what has been termed the 'Golden Age' of the nineteenth century constitution, before the advent of universal male suffrage and the rise of party as the overriding force in the British polity. Despite being strongly rooted in its time, Bagehot's work can still provide us with fascinating insights into the basic nature of the constitution and its organic connections with the society within which it functions. In sketching connections between class and political systems, in its use of ideology, in what we would now term its interdisciplinary approach, Bagehot's study provides insights and analysis of sometimes startling modernity.

In this new Introduction, Gavin Phillipson provides a fresh and distinctly contemporary appraisal of Bagehot's famous work. The Introduction clearly elucidates how the actual workings of the constitution have changed since Bagehot's time but powerfully illuminates the strong continuing value and contemporary relevance of his analysis.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This timely new edition of Bagehot’s classic study is essential reading for today's constitutional reformers and students of Britain's elective dictatorship. Gavin Phillipson’s scholarly and shrewd introduction makes key links between past and present.”  —Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199539017
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/25/2009
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 447,980
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Bagehot "Badgett"; 3 February 1826 - 24 March 1877) was a British businessman, essayist, Social Darwinist and journalist who wrote extensively about literature, government, and economic affairs.
Bagehot was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn, but preferred to join his father in 1852 in his family's shipping and banking business. He wrote for various periodicals, and in 1855 founded the National Review with his friend Richard Holt Hutton.[3][4] Later becoming editor-in-chief of The Economist, which had been founded by his father-in-law, James Wilson, in 1860, Bagehot expanded The Economist's reporting on the United States and on politics and is considered to have increased its influence among policymakers over the seventeen years he served as editor.

In 1867, he wrote The English Constitution, a book that explored the nature of the constitution of the United Kingdom, specifically the functioning of Parliament and the British monarchy and the contrasts between British and American government. The book appeared at the same time that Parliament enacted the Reform Act of 1867, requiring Bagehot to write an extended introduction to the second edition, which appeared in 1872. The book became an instant classic, has been translated into many languages, and is still available in scholarly editions from Oxford University Press (in its "World's Classics" series) and Cambridge University Press.

Bagehot also wrote Physics and Politics (1872), in which he coined the still-current expression "the cake of custom" to describe the tension between social institutions and innovations. In this book, he also expressed the fundamental ideas of the struggle school and described the historical evolution of social groups into nations. Bagehot argued that "these nations evolved principally by succeeding in conflicts with other groups". For many political scientists, sociologists, and military strategists, this strain of social Darwinism justified overseas expansion by nations (imperialism) during the 1890s. In his contributions to sociological theory within historical studies, Bagehot may be compared to his contemporary, Henry James Sumner Maine.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction
The English Constitution 1
I The Cabinet 3
II The Monarchy 21
III The House of Lords 50
IV The House of Commons 71
V On Changes of Ministry 97
VI Its Supposed Checks and Balances 110
VII The Prerequisites of Cabinet Government 139
VIII Its History, and Effects - Conclusion 149
Introduction to the Second Edition, 1872 160
Further Reading List 193
Index 195
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    A fascinating essay on the English Constitution.

    A fascinating essay on the English Constitution.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)