Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

the supreme executive may be able to cripple the plans of
those whom it opposes ; but still there is an amount of free
opinion and a fearlessness in  making it  known that cannot
wholly   be repressed.     Of the slow progress -of parties in
gaining their ends against the opposition of a court the his-
tory of England furnishes a fine example.    For centuries the
independent electors of England had not reached that degree
of power that the court and its friends could not in a great
degree counteract their measures.    And yet the party op-
posed to free institutions was obliged from time to time to
make concessions, until the middle class and a portion of the
upper, the representatives of the liberties of the nation, felt
themselves  strong  enough to  oppose the king with arms.
The death of Charles I. for a time threw the balance of power
on the other side, until the vices of Charles II. and the follies
of his brother rendered a revolution, which succeeded almost
without bloodshed, necessary.    This great event, with  the
improvements in administration, in the security of person, in
the checks on the misuse of power, which belong to the same
age, made it possible for parties representing the opinion of
the educated and aristocratic class, however that might in-
cline, to be predominant.    There was a constitutional growth
of elements forming the state, which conditioned the growth
of parties ; but the movements of the elements on the side
of freedom could not be said to have reached their requisite
state of free action until after the revolution.
One phenomenon of parties that history reveals to us Is
•Number of srinci- that they vary greatly in regard to the number
paerV°nsmimnS a of leading principles, civil or religious or indus-
' trial, which enter into their profession of faith.    In some of
the ancient parties there was perhaps not more than one
principle at issue, and that one self-defensive on the one or
other side.-    In the little city aristocracies the question was
how to cripple the democracies, so that numbers should not
be too strong for old families  and wealth.    When the pope
and emperor were at strife early in the thirteenth century,
everything  in  the  Italian towns turned   on  that  contest.
VOL. II.—35