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History of the Origin of Representative Government in Europe
In 1820, at the time when the various faculties of the Acadmie de Paris and the Collge de France were recommencing their courses of lectures, several persons combined to establish a Journal des Cours Publiques, in which they reproduced, from their notes, the lectures which they had attended. The course which I delivered, at this period, on the history of Representative Government, occupies a place in this collection. I did not revise the analyses of my lectures which were published. They were brief and incomplete, and frequently incorrect and confused. I have been requested to authorize a reprint of them. I could not consent to this without bestowing upon these analyses, at the present day, that labour of revision to which they were not subjected at the time of their publication. The two volumes which I now publish are the result of this labour, which has been more protracted, and has involved more considerable alterations than I at first anticipated. In order to accomplish it, I have frequently had recourse to my Essaies sur l'Histoire de France, in which I embodied, in 1823, some of my researches on the same subject. This course of lectures on the origin of Representative Government is now as exact and complete as if my lectures in 1820-1822 had been collected and revised with the same care as I bestowed, in 1827-1830, on the publication of my courses on the General History of Civilization in Europe, and on the History of Civilization in France. When, in the year 1820, I devoted my energies to this course of instruction, I was taking leave of public life, after having, during six years, taken an active part in the work of establishing representative government in our own land. The political ideas and friends with whom I had been associated were, at that period, removed from the head of affairs. I connected myself with their reverses, without abandoning our common hopes and efforts. We had faith in our institutions. Whether they entailed upon us good or evil fortune, we were equally devoted to them. I was unwilling to cease to serve their cause. I endeavoured to explain the origin and principles of representative government, as I had attempted to practise it. How shall I speak, at the present day, of bad fortune and reverse, in reference to 1820? What shall we say of the fate which has recently overtaken our fatherland, and of that which is perhaps in store for us? It is a shame to make use of the same words in respect to evils and dangers so prodigiously unequal. In truth, the trials of 1820 were severe and painful, yet the State was not thrown into confusion by them, and they were followed by ten years of regular and free government. In 1830, a still severer trial, the test of a revolution, was applied to our noble institutions, and they did not succumb; they shook off the revolutionary yoke, and gave us eighteen years more of order and liberty. From 1814 to 1848, notwithstanding so many violent convulsions, constitutional monarchy remained standing, and events justified the obstinacy of our hopes. But now the storm has struck every institution, and still threatens to destroy all that survive. Not merely kings and laws, but the very root of government, of all governmentwhat do I say?the roots of society itself have been reached, and are left bare and almost torn up. Can we again seek safety at the same source? can we still believe and hope in representative government and monarchy? ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 61250
Author: Guizot, François
Release Date: Jan 27, 2020
Translator: Scoble, Andrew R. (Andrew Richard), Sir, 1831-1916
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