The Constitutional History of England from 1760 to 1860 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 614 pages of information about The Constitutional History of England from 1760 to 1860.


[Footnote 216:  But it may be remarked that till very recently the people out-of-doors had ceased to show any great anxiety about Reform.  Two or three years before, Lord Althorp, who, in Lord Grey’s ministry, was Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House of Commons, told Peel that the people had become so indifferent to it, that he never meant to bring forward the question again, and in the last seven years only fourteen petitions had been presented to Parliament in favor of it.  In reality, such a feeling in the people would have been eminently favorable to a calm framing of a Moderate measure; but this indifference was soon changed into a more violent and widely diffused excitement than there was any record of since the days of the Popish Plot; that excitement, however, according to the confession of the historian of the Whig ministry and the Reform Bill, himself an ardent reformer, being “no spontaneous result of popular feeling, but being brought about by the incessant labors of a few shrewd and industrious partisans forming a secret, but very active and efficient, committee in London.”—­Roebuck’s History of the Whig Ministry, etc., ii., 309.]

[Footnote 217:  In 1835 the two days were reduced to one.]

[Footnote 218:  The creation of twelve peers, in the reign of Queen Anne, to secure a majority in favor of the Peace of Utrecht.]

[Footnote 219:  “Constitutional History,” iii., 331.  See the whole passage.]

[Footnote 220:  Lord John Russell had publicly described the language of the Tory Peers in the debate on Lord Lyndhurst’s amendment as “the whisper of a faction.”  And many articles of most extreme violence which appeared in the Times about the same time were generally believed to have been written (in part at least) by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Brougham.]

[Footnote 221:  “Constitutional History of England,” by Sir J.E.  May, 1., 262.]

[Footnote 222:  Elizabeth enfranchised no fewer than sixty-two in the course of her reign, “a very large proportion of them petty boroughs, evidently under the influence of the crown or the peerage.”—­Hallam, Constitutional History i., 360.]

[Footnote 223:  Sir A. Alison, “History of Europe,” xxiii., 55, quotes a paragraph from the Examiner newspaper, which says:  “The ground, limited as it is, which it is proposed to clear and open to the popular influence, will suffice as the spot desired by Archimedes for the plant of the power which must ultimately govern the whole system.  Without reform, convulsion is inevitable.  Upon any reform farther reform is inevitably consequent, and the settlement of the constitution on the democratic basis certain.”]

[Footnote 224:  Hallam, “Constitutional History,” c. xvi., in fin.]

[Footnote 225:  “Semper in republica timendum est ne plurimum valeant plurinn.”—­Cicero.]


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The Constitutional History of England from 1760 to 1860 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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