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In treating of political parties we shall not go beyond those
Political parties, movements of this kind in which thought and its
Thar nature. expression are free, that is, beyond countries
which are already self-governing, or where the seed is sown
and is sprouting for self-government.* In fact, parties, in the
modern sense of the term, cannot be said to exist where there
is no diffusive power of opinion, and when those who have
common opinions on political subjects cannot carry their
points by combined action, f In countries where knowledge
and co-operation in public measures are very imperfect, there
may be local dissatisfaction, strife between great men for
places at court, and even wider movements, having their ori-
* A work written by Prof. Wachsmuth, of Leipzig, entitled " Ge-
schichte der Politischer Parteiungen," in 3 vols. (1853-1856), devoted
to this subject of parties, begins almost with the creation of man.
He devotes four pages to the United States, out of his nearly sixteen
hundred. Cooke's Hist, of Party in England (1836, 3 vols.) is a
valuable collection of facts.
f " Party," says Mr. Burke (Thoughts on the Cause of the present
Discontents ; Works, Bonn's ed., i., 375), " is a body of men united
for promoting by their joint endeavors the national interest upon
some particular principle in which they are all agreed. For my part,
I find it impossible to conceive that any one believes in his own poli-
tics, or thinks them to be of any weight, who refuses to adopt the
means of having them reduced to practice. It is the business of the
speculative philosopher to mark the proper ends of government. It
is the business of the politician, who is the philosopher in action, ^to
find out proper means towards those ends, and to employ them with
effect," etc.