Parliamentary Service

Paul Langford

in Public Life and the Propertied Englishman 1689–1798

Published in print August 1994 | ISBN: 9780198205340
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676574 | DOI:

Series: Ford Lectures

Parliamentary Service

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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In this chapter, the image of Parliament is transformed from the heroic defender of individual rights and liberties into the pawn of interest groups, not so much imposing its legislative will as providing its legislative services. The parliamentary achievement of the 18th century, which followed the Revolution of 1688, is often thought of in terms of constitutional progress. It paved the way for cabinet government and parliamentary democracy. Regular and predictable parliamentary sessions facilitated legislation on an unprecedented scale. Parliament's concessive attitude left extensive powers in the hands of vested interests, and the spirit of competition throve on numberless jealousies and animosities.

Keywords: parliamentary achievement; revolution; animosity; colonial markets; parliamentary democracy

Chapter.  30847 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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