« PreviousContinue »
THE THIRD EDITION.
THE Constitutional History of England, from 1760 to 1860, having been concluded as a complete work, some years since, I have not ventured to disturb the original narrative, by any attempt to continue it to the present time. But more than ten years have since passed, which will ever be memorable in the constitutional history of our country; and in preparing a new edition of this work, I have added a supplementary chapter, in which I have briefly reviewed the more remarkable events of this latter period, in their relations to the history of the previous hundred years, and have endeavored to measure their influence upon the government and political destinies of England.
September 9, 1871.
THE SECOND EDITION.
The text of the present edition has been revised, and numerous authorities have been added, chiefly from works published since the completion of the first volume.
April 29, 1868
It is the design of this history to trace the progrese and development of the British Constitution, during a period of one hundred years ; and to illustrate every material change, - whether of legislation, custom, or policy, — by which institutions have been improved, and abuses in the government corrected.
The accession of George III. presents no natural boundary in constitutional history: but former reigns have already been embraced in the able survey of Mr. Hallam ; and frequent allusions are here made to events of an earlier period, connected with the inquiries of the present work.
In considering the history of our mixed government, we are led to study each institution separately, to mark its changes, and observe its relations to other powers and influences in the State. With this view, I have found it necessary to deviate from a strictly chronological narrative, and to adopt a natural division of leading subjects. If this arrangement should appear occasionally to involve an incomplete view of particular events, and repeated references to the same period, under different aspects; I trust it will be found, on the whole, the most convenient and instructive. The form of the work is not the less historical. Each inquiry is pursued throughout the entire century ; but is