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Popular Government

Sir Henry Sumner Maine

Publication Year: 2012

Sir Henry Sumner Maine was one of the great intellects of the Victorian era. In Popular Government he examines the political institutions of men. He saw that popular governments, unless they are founded upon and consonant with the evolutionary development of a people, will crumble from their own excesses.

George W. Carey is Professor of Government at Georgetown University and editor of the Political Science Reviewer.

Published by: Liberty Fund

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 7-8

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pp. 9-20

Sir Henry Maine's life spanned one of the most illustrious periods of English history, the Victorian Age. Not only was England the center of a vast empire and at its apex as a world power, the period is equally notable for its intellectual giants-Macaulay, Bagehot, Acton, Carlyle, Leslie Stephen, James Fitzjames Stephen, ...

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pp. 21-26

The four Essays which follow are connected with studies to which, during much of my life, I have devoted such leisure as I have been able to command. Many years ago I made the attempt, in a work on Ancient Law, to apply the so-called Historical Method of inquiry to the private laws and institutions of Mankind. ...

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Essay I: The Prospects of Popular Government

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pp. 27-74

The blindness of the privileged classes in France to the Revolution which was about to overwhelm them furnishes some of the best-worn commonplaces of modern history. There was no doubt much in it to surprise us. What King, Noble, and Priest could not see, had been easily visible to the foreign observer. ...

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Essay II: The Nature of Democracy

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pp. 75-136

John Austin, a name honoured in the annals of English jurisprudence, published shortly before his death a pamphlet called A Plea for the Constitution. In this publication,1 which marks the farthest rebound of a powerful mind from the peculiar philosophical Radicalism of the immediate pupils of Jeremy Bentham, ...

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Essay III: The Age of Progress

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pp. 137-196

There is no doubt that some of the most inventive, most polite, and best instructed portions of the human race are at present going through a stage of thought which, if it stood by itself, would suggest that there is nothing of which human nature is so tolerant, or so deeply enamoured, as the transformation of laws and institutions. ...

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Essay IV: The Constitution of The United States

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pp. 197-248

The Constitution of the United States of America is much the most important political instrument of modern times. The country, whose destinies it controls and directs, has this special characteristic, that all the territories into which its already teeming population overflows are so placed, ...


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pp. 249-254

E-ISBN-13: 9781614878285
E-ISBN-10: 1614878285
Print-ISBN-13: 9780913966150

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: None