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The Rise of the Democracy   By: (1868-)

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First Page:

THE RISE OF THE DEMOCRACY

by

JOSEPH CLAYTON

Author of "Leaders of the People" "Bishops as Legislators," etc. etc.

With Eight Full Page Plates

Cassell and Company, Ltd. London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne 1911 All Rights Reserved

[Illustration: KING JOHN GRANTING MAGNA CHARTA

From the Fresco in the Royal Exchange, by Ernest Normand.

By permission of Messrs. S. Hildesheimer & Co., Ltd. ]

PREFACE

This short account of the rise of political democracy is necessarily but an outline of the matter, and while it is not easy to define the exact limits, there is no difficulty in noting omissions. For instance, there is scarcely any reference to the work of poets or pamphleteers. John Ball's rhyming letters are quoted, but not the poems of Langland, and the political songs of the Middle Ages are hardly mentioned. The host of political pamphleteers in the seventeenth century are excluded, with the exception of Lilburne and Winstanley, whose work deserves better treatment from posterity than it received from contemporaries. Defoe's vigorous services for the Whigs are unnoticed, and the democratic note in much of the poetry of Burns, Blake, Byron and Shelley is left unconsidered, and the influence of these poets undiscussed. The anti Corn Law rhymes of Ebenezer Eliot, and the Chartist songs of Ernest Jones were notable inspirations in their day, and in our own times Walt Whitman and Mr. Edward Carpenter have been the chief singers of democracy. But a whole volume at least might be written on the part the pen has played in the struggle towards democracy.

Again, there is no mention of Ireland in this short sketch. A Nationalist movement is not necessarily a democratic movement, and the Irish Nationalist Party includes men of very various political opinions, whose single point of agreement is the demand for Home Rule. In India and Egypt the agitation is for representative institutions. Ireland might, or might not, become a democracy under Home Rule who can say?

The aim of the present writer has been to trace the travelled road of the English people towards democracy, and to point out certain landmarks on that road, in the hope that readers may be turned to examine more closely for themselves the journey taken. For the long march teems with adventure and spirited enterprise; and, noting mistakes and failures in the past, we may surely and wisely, and yet with greater daring and finer courage, pursue the road, not unmindful of the charge committed to us in the centuries left behind.

J.C.

HAMPSTEAD, September, 1911.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

The British Influence "Government of the People, by the People, for the People" The Foundations of Democracy British Democracy Experimental not Doctrinaire Education to Democracy

CHAPTER I

THE EARLY STRUGGLES AGAINST THE ABSOLUTISM OF THE CROWN

The Great Churchmen Archbishop Anselm and Norman Autocracy Thomas à Becket and Henry II. Stephen Langton and John The Great Charter

CHAPTER II

THE BEGINNING OF PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION

Democracy and Representative Government Representative Theory First found in Ecclesiastical Assemblies The Misrule of Henry III. Simon of Montfort, Leader of the National Party Edward I.'s Model Parliament, 1295 The Nobility Predominant in Parliament The Medieval National Assemblies The Electors of the Middle Ages Payment of Parliamentary Representatives The Political Position of Women in the Middle Ages No Theory of Democracy in the Middle Ages

CHAPTER III

POPULAR INSURRECTION IN ENGLAND

General Results of Popular Risings William FitzOsbert, 1196 The Peasant Revolt and its Leaders, 1381 Jack Cade, Captain of Kent, 1450 The Norfolk Rising under Ket, 1549

CHAPTER IV

THE STRUGGLE RENEWED AGAINST THE CROWN

Parliament under the Tudors Victory of Parliament over the Stuarts The Democratic Protest: Lilburne Winstanley and "The Diggers" The Restoration

CHAPTER V

CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT ARISTOCRACY TRIUMPHANT

Government by Aristocrats Civil and Religious Liberty Growth of Cabinet Rule Walpole's rule The Change in the House of Lords "Wilkes and Liberty"

CHAPTER VI

THE RISE OF THE DEMOCRATIC IDEA

The Witness of the Middle Ages The "Social Contract" Theory Thomas Hobbes John Locke Rousseau and French Revolution American Independence Thomas Paine Major Cartwright and the "Radical Reformers" Thomas Spence Practical Politics and Democratic Ideals

CHAPTER VII

PARLIAMENTARY REFORM AND THE ENFRANCHISEMENT OF THE PEOPLE

The Industrial Revolution The Need for Parliamentary Reform Manufacturing Centres Unrepresented in Parliament The Passage of the Great Reform Bill The Working Class still Unrepresented Chartism The Hyde Park Railings, 1866 Household Suffrage Working class Representation in Parliament Removal of Religious Disabilities: Catholics, Jews and Freethinkers The Enfranchisement of Women

CHAPTER VIII

DEMOCRACY AT WORK

Local Government The Workman in the House of Commons Working class Leaders in Parliament The Present Position of the House of Lords The Popularity of the Crown The Democratic Ideals: Socialism and Social Reform Land Reform and the Single Tax

CHAPTER IX

THE WORLD WIDE MOVEMENT: ITS STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS

East and West Tyranny under Democratic Forms The Obvious Dangers Party Government Bureaucracy Working Class Ascendancy On Behalf of Democracy

LIST OF PLATES

KING JOHN GRANTING MAGNA CHARTA

MAGNA CHARTA A FACSIMILE OF THE ORIGINAL IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM

SIR JOHN ELIOT

JOHN HAMPDEN

THE GORDON RIOTS

THE RIGHT HON... Continue reading book >>




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