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always resisted and at times absolutely disregarded. The promises of the Declaration of the Bill of Rights were kept, and with the passage of this bill the danger of the destruction of English liberty passed away. The long contest between the King and the nobility and the people for the commanding influence in the government of England was now over; by the Bill of Rights the governing power was finally secured to the English people.
$ 43. The ministry system.—The Bill of Rights was the last event in English history which was to have a direct influence upon the form of government to be adopted in the United States. The important later changes in the workings of the English government did not extend to the government of the American colonies and were very imperfectly understood by the Americans of the time of the Declaration of Independence or of the adoption of the Constitution. The constitutional history of England, from the adoption of the Bill of Rights to the accession of George III, can therefore be passed over with a brief. mention.
The most important innovation of this period was the development of the English Ministry system. The union of all the different political and religious factors of the English people, which had called William and Mary to the throne of England, was the mere laying aside, instead of the burying of differences, and these differences broke out again as soon as the common danger had been removed. William of Orange, a Hollander by birth, and concerned rather with the larger politics of Europe than the insular politics of England, could neither fully understand nor sympathize with the aims and prejudices of the individual Englishmen. He desired to consider all the previous difficulties as settled and determined by the Bill of Rights and to unite England in the support of those great objects which he considered necessary for the preservation of the liberties of all Europe. For this reason he chose his ministers at the start from the leaders of all political shades. The condition of English politics was such, however, as to render the permanency of such an arrangement impossible. Although the King, after the passage of the Bill of Rights, still retained, for a time, some actual share of the government of England, still the change was rapidly developing by which the power of the Executive Department passed from the King to the ministry, consisting of the highest offices of the various administrative departments. This English Ministry System stands today as one of the socalled conventions of the English Constitution.
One effect of the introduction of the ministry system was to aid in that course of events which was transferring the ruling power from the King to the House of Commons, to whom the ministry were responsible; it tended to destroy the balance of power between the Executive and Legislative department and to make the latter entirely dependent upon the former. The Americans at the time of the Revolution did not clearly understand the exact relation of the various departments of the English government to each other, nor appreciate this supremacy which the Legislative department had acquired over the Executive. The English Ministry System was not even considered during the sessions of the Federal Constitutional Convention.
$ 44. Accession of the House of Hanover. The right of the English Parliament to make provision as to the rules of succession to the Crown which had been sustained by the accession of Henry VII and William and Mary to the Crown, was finally vindicated by the act of settlement passed at the very beginning of the eighteenth century. By this Act, Parliament settled the line of descent of the English Crown, cutting out two branches of the royal family, which were, by the rules of strict hereditary descent, entitled to succeed to the throne in advance of the line upon which Parliament settled the succession. As in the time of the settlement of the Crown, by Parliament, upon the House of Lancaster, this settlement occasioned a Civil War. The Civil War of the eighteenth century, however, was of but slight importance. George I, the Elector of Hanover, succeeded to the throne in 1715, upon the death of Queen Anne, and the uprising in favor of the Stuarts in 1715 and 1745 were both repulsed with little difficulty.
$ 45. Robert Walpole and William Pitt.-The constitutional history of England during the cighteenth century, unlike that during the seventeenth is, as has been said, of little importance in the study of the constitutional history of the United States, the reason being found in the fact that the events of the former century have an important bearing upon the future development of the United States Government, while those of the latter do not. There is very little of interest in the early years of the rule of the House of Hanover. The first two Kings of this House, strangers in birth and inclination to the country over which they were called to rule, never understood the English Government nor cared to interfere in its management; they were content to leave the conduct of affairs in the hands of the ministry, thus helping to expedite the movement already spoken of, which was transferring the power of the Crown to the ministry. This development of the ministry was the one great constitutional event of the century in England, and this development had no great influence upon America. The great ministers during the reign of the first two Hanovers were Robert Walpole and William Pitt; the rule of the former was a perind of quiet and internal development; that of the latter of brilliant foreign conquest.
The rule of William Pitt commenced a new era for England; it was under him that the British Empire began to assume shape. The result of the seven years' war was the transfer of the French Colonial Empire to England, leaving that country supreme in India and America. An indirect result of this was destined to be the American War of Independence. The destruction of the French power in America gave security to the American colonies, while their services in the war against France had given them military experience and confidence. Furthermore, it was the debt which the expenses of the war had laid upon England that later brought about the taxation of the colonies that caused the rupture between the colonies and the mother country.
$ 46. The accession of George III.—The final element necessary to bring about the Revolutionary War was found in the character of the third King of the House of Hanover, who came to the throne near the close of the Seven Years' war. The attitude of the new King towards England was far different from that of his two predecessors. He was the last of the English Kings who demanded to be King in reality as well as in name, the ruling power of the government instead of a figure-head. His attitude towards the colonies was merely a phase of his whole policy towards his subjects. This policy was destroyed when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. The War of the American Revolution brought other results to England than that of the mere loss of her colonies. It was the culmination of those events which transferred the ruling power in England from the King to the House of Commons.
OUTLINE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL, POLITICAL AND LEGAL
THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO THE
$ 47. English Colonization in America.—The history of the English colonies in America was to a great degree moulded by the character of the century in which these colonies were principally settled. The failure of Raleigh's attempts at colonization in the sixteenth century was in the end for the benefit of the new Anglo-Saxon nation which was to arise in the New World. The character of the age of its settlement must be reflected permanently in the character of every colony. The sixteenth century was primarily a century of commercial enterprise and of adventure; a century in which the spirit of knight errantry of the crusades existed side by side with the commercialism of the present day. The voyages, explorations and attempted colonization of this period were all tinged with the one or both of these influences. Any colonies which had owed their origin to the enterprises of such times would of necessity have been of the exploitation class. They could hardly have failed to become colonies whose inhabitants would have looked upon America as merely a field for gain or adventure, and whose love and allegiance would have remained true to their old home across the Atlantic. Time would have lessened such conditions, but could hardly have eradicated them by the close of the eight
The seventeenth century was a century of far different character in English history; it was a century of intense religious and political awakening; a century which witnessed the greatest of all Anglo-Saxon contests for civil rights and political liberty.