Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

552                              POLITICAL  SCIENCE.
Sometimes the history of party shows us several parties
complicated fea, within one another, or side by side, crossing each
tares of parties.       the other's track> auci in great confusion mak-
ing separate issues.    This is owing to the fact that real abuses,
as they seem to one party, affect the interests or the traditional
feelings of a portion of its members, so that some cannot go
as far as others, and cither withdraw or become neutral.    An
illustration is furnished   by the history of the English civil
wars in the time of Charles I.    As Guizot remarks, the refor-
mation of civil abuses was an end to a portion of the Puri-
tans, and that of the religious abuses to another portion, both
of whom were conscientious and acted on firm conviction.
But if the civil abuses had been righted and security given
for the future,  many of the political Puritans would have
accepted a church of England somewhat reformed and cur-
tailed in the episcopal power.    But there arose in this seeth-
ing time multitudes of religionists who wished to base the
state upon their several platforms, and behind all was the
third party of the Scots.    The presence of religious questions
prevented compromise on any other scheme than that of per-
fect freedom, which, in the existing state of things and of
opinions, was impossible.    Accordingly, numbers of the old
leaders retire or change  their policy,  until something very
un-English comes to pass,—the ablest general becomes the
head of the nation.    The Puritans of 1640 were not the Puri-
tans of 1649.
Most like to England in the relations of parties, as well as
in the tendency to the practical in politics, was Rome. Here
the questions were confined within narrower limits, but there
was a progress forward, one party taking the lead of the other
in this respect; and when a point was once settled, there was
no going backward e,xcept in Sulla's temporary reaction.
The optimates of Cicero's time, in their view of the constitu-
tion and of the measures to be opposed or accepted, differed
, from the patricians of the time soon after the expulsion of the
kings, more than the Tories under Charles I. differ from the
-.Tories now.