The English Constitution

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DigiCat, 2022 M11 21 - 244 páginas
In 'The English Constitution', Walter Bagehot offers an astute analysis of the United Kingdom's system of government and the delicate balance of power between its monarchy and Parliament. The work, originally serialized and later compiled into a comprehensive treatise, peers into the machinery of British politics with a narrative that interweaves historical exposition with sharp commentary. Published during an era of constitutional evolution, Bagehot's text is both a product of its time and a pioneering exploration of governance that predates the crystallization of modern parliamentary democracy. Its literary style combines the precision of legal documentation with the fluidity of Bagehot's journalistic prowess, setting it apart as a seminal work in political science and constitutional law. The book shines in elucidating the differences between the unwritten British Constitution and the codified framework of the American system, providing readers with a profound insight into the contrasts of governmental structures across the Atlantic. Walter Bagehot, an economist, journalist, and editor, brought a unique perspective to 'The English Constitution'. His accomplishments as the editor of 'The Economist' and his extensive commentary on economic and political issues gave him a deep understanding of the intersections between policy, governance, and society. This, coupled with his engagement in the intellectual milieu of Victorian England, heavily influenced his work. Bagehot's insight into the monarchy – especially its symbolic and functional roles in balancing the sovereignty of the institution with popular governance – remains one of the most nuanced discussions on the subject, thus cementing his legacy in political thought. Scholars, students of political science, and those with an interest in the complexities of constitutional monarchy and the historical contours that have shaped modern governance structures will find 'The English Constitution' indispensable. Bagehot's analysis is remarkably prescient in its understanding of political dynamics that continue to be relevant today. The book is therefore recommended not only as a historical document but also as a vital resource for comprehending the evolutionary nature of democratic institutions and the enduring principles underpinning constitutional governance.

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Walter Bagehot (1826–1877) was a distinguished British journalist, businessman, and essayist, renowned for his prescient observations on politics, economics, and society. Born in Langport, Somerset, Bagehot was educated at University College London before embarking on a career that would have him contribute significantly to the intellectual and political discourse of his time. As the third editor of The Economist from 1861 until his death, he expanded the breadth and depth of the publication's influence, crafting it into a must-read for policymakers and thinkers alike. Amongst his most notable works is 'The English Constitution' (published in 1867), a seminal text critiquing the British government's organization and functionality. In this influential book, Bagehot delineated the distinctions between the 'dignified' and 'efficient' aspects of the political system and commended the balance of monarchy and parliamentary democracy. His astute analysis and lucid prose rendered the book an enduring classic in political science and constitutional theory, furnishing insight into the operation of government and the interplay between its formal and actual dynamics. Bagehot's literary style is characterized by its clarity, wit, and a keen acumen, which allowed him to distill complex ideas into accessible commentary. Much of his writing reflects a commitment to the principles of liberalism and free trade, themes recurring throughout his diverse body of work that includes economic theory, literary criticism, and social commentary. Though his legacy is multifaceted, it is his penetrating analysis of British politics and institution which hallmark his enduring scholarly import.

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