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stitutions I propose to examine in the next part of this work, have reached the democratic period of their development. Two of them are usually described as monarchies, but they are such only in appearance, and hardly that. A very moderate degree of scientific observation will discover that we have to do in these cases with old forms filled with a new force. In England and Germany these old forms have so adapted themselves to the new content that little would be gained by their destruction. They do somewhat obscure the vision of the observer; they do offer a vantage-ground for resistance to the realization of the new order; and they do confuse, in some degree, the organization of the state. Should their use for these purposes be pressed too far, they will probably be compelled to give way to forms corresponding more naturally to the existing conditions of power; but if they prove sufficiently elastic, they may still furnish the names and titles of the new powers for decades, perhaps centuries,

to come.



Book I.



A COMPLETE Constitution may be said to consist of three fundamental parts. The first is the organization of the state for the accomplishment of future changes in the constitution. This is usually called the amending clause, and the power which it describes and regulates is called the amending power. This is the most important part of a constitution. Upon its existence and truthfulness, i.e. its correspondence with real and natural conditions, depends the question as to whether the state shall develop with peaceable continuity or shall suffer alternations of stagnation, retrogression, and revolution. A constitution, which may be imperfect and erroneous in its other parts, can be easily supplemented and corrected, if only the state be truthfully organized in the constitution; but if this be not accomplished, error will accumulate until nothing short of revolution can save the life of the state. I do not consider, therefore, that I exaggerate the importance of this topic by devoting an entire book, in my arrangement, to its consideration. The second fundamental part of a complete constitution, I denominate the constitution of liberty; and the third, the constitution of government. These I shall treat in the second and third. books of this division of my general subject.



In the absence of any constitutional law distinctly separate from ordinary statute law, enacted by a different body and written down in a single instrument, we are compelled, in regard to this question as to all other questions of the English system, to look to precedent. It is a difficult matter to determine exactly what is constitutional law as distinguished from ordinary statute law, when the enacting body in both cases is the same. We are deprived altogether of the juristic test and thrown back entirely upon the less exact tests of political science and comparative constitutional law. But we may assume, I think, that the sovereignty within the constitution, the general principles of liberty, the form and construction of the government, and the character and extent of the suffrage are natural subjects of constitutional law. Now when the British state comes to deal with these questions it treats them just as it does any question of ordinary law; i.e. the Parliament determines the law which regulates them.1 If the two houses can agree, then a simple majority of a quorum in each is all that is necessary for such legislation. If they cannot agree, and if the House of Commons insists upon having its own way, it may cause the Crown to create by patent a sufficient number of new peers in sympathy with its views to carry the measure. If the Crown declines in the first instance to do this, it is necessary only that the ministry

1 Anson, Law and Custom of the Constitution, p. 34.

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