Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER II: Political Consequences of the Revolution—Subsequent Changes in the State of the Nation—Influence of the Crown. - An Historical View of the English Government
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CHAPTER II: Political Consequences of the Revolution—Subsequent Changes in the State of the Nation—Influence of the Crown. - John Millar, An Historical View of the English Government 
An Historical View of the English Government, From the Settlement of the Saxons in Britain to the Revolution in 1688, in four volumes, edited by Mark Salber Philips and Dale R. Smith, introduction by Mark Salber Philips (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2006).
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Political Consequences of the Revolution—Subsequent Changes in the State of the Nation—Influence of the Crown.
The alterations made in the state of the government by what is called the revolution, in 1688, and by the other public regulations in the reign of William III. were judicious, moderate, and prudent. With a perfect adherence to the spirit, and with as little deviation as possible from the ancient forms of the constitution, they were well calculated to restrain the arbitrary conduct of the sovereign, and appeared to establish a limited monarchy upon a solid and permanent basis.
All the avenues and passes, through which the prerogative had formerly invaded the rights of the people, were now apparently guarded and secured. The king could neither maintain troops, nor obtain the necessary supplies, without the annual interposition of the legislature, and therefore was laid<70> under the inevitable necessity of calling regular and frequent meetings of Parliament. The former disputes upon that subject were consequently at an end. Any future injunction upon the sovereign, to perform his duty in this respect, was now superseded. As he could no longer procure money, or carry on the business of government, without parliamentary aid, it was to be expected that no future complaints of his neglecting to convene that assembly would ever be heard. It was no longer prudent for him to hazard the angry dissolution of a parliament for refusing to comply with his demands; a measure tending to engender enmity and resentment in that class of men, whose good will and cordial affection were become indispensibly requisite. In a word, the executive power was rendered completely subordinate to the legislative; which is agreeable to the natural order of things; and without which there can be no free government.
The legislative power was, by the ancient structure of the constitution, lodged in the assembly composed of king, lords, and commons; so that the king, to whom was committed<71> the province of executing the laws, had also a great share in making them. But this regulation, which is justly considered by political writers, as inconsistent with the perfection of a free government, has been, in a great measure, removed by custom. As every bill must pass through the two houses before it can receive the royal assent, and as the king cannot legally interfere in bills depending before either house, the interposition of his negative would be apt to excite such national clamour as no wise prince would choose to incur, and would be repugnant to the principles of the constitution, by evincing greater confidence in the advice of other persons than of the national council.* For a long time, therefore, the exercise of this branch of power in the crown has been entirely disused, and the legislative has been of course, placed in different hands from the executive.1
Comparing the two houses of parliament with each other, the commons, consisting of<72> national representatives, sustain the popular part of the legislature, while the peers sustain the aristocratical. From circumstances, which I had formerly occasion to observe, the commons acquired the exclusive power of bringing in all money bills, and the peers have only that of assenting, or interposing their negative to the grant. This part of the constitution, which arose from the ancient forms of deliberation, is now supported by considerations of the highest expediency. The commons represent all the property of the kingdom, that of the peerage alone excepted; and therefore it may be supposed, that from a regard to their own interest, as well as that of the community at large, they will be induced to prevent the imposition of unreasonable taxes. The crown, on the other hand, is interested to augment the public revenue; and the peers, who are created by the crown, and have an immediate connection with the higher offices and places in its disposal, may be suspected of adhering invariably to its interest. The house of peers, therefore, in matters of taxation, is allowed to vote in favour of the<73> people, but not in favour of the crown. It cannot grant supplies, but may interpose a negative upon those which have been suggested by the commons.
As it had long been a maxim in the English government, “that the king can do no wrong,” by which is meant, that his ministers are alone responsible for ordinary acts of mal-administration, it was hence inferred, that these ministers must be allowed exclusively to direct and govern the state machine; for it would be the height of injustice to load them with the crimes of another, nor could it be expected that any man of spirit would submit to be a minister upon such terms. Were it even possible to find persons willing to answer for measures which they were not permitted to guide, their nominal administration would not serve the purpose intended; as the responsibility of such mean and servile officers could afford no security to the public, that the abuses of the executive power might be restrained by the terrors of such vicarious punishment.
Thus, by the principles of the constitution, the real exercise of the executive or<74> ministerial power came to be regularly, though tacitly, committed to a set of ministers, appointed by the king during pleasure. Their number, though not accurately fixed, was in some measure circumscribed by that of the chief official situations in the gift of the crown; and the individuals belonging to this body were still more distinctly pointed out, and recognized by the public, from their composing a select, or cabinet council, by whose concurrence and direction the administration was visibly conducted.
These ministers being nominated or displaced at the discretion of the crown, their continuance in office was, of course, brought under the controul of the two houses of parliament, and more especially under that of the commons, upon whom, by their power of granting or withholding supplies, the movements of government ultimately depended. From the nature of the constitution, tending to attract the attention of the public to the conduct of its managers, and from circumstances attending the direction of all political measures, it was to be expected that this controul of the legislature over the ap-<75>pointment of the principal officers of state would be frequently exercised. From the event of a war, not corresponding to the sanguine expectations of the people; from the soliciting and enforcing new= taxes, which are usually paid with reluctance, and productive of bad humour; from the unfortunate issue of hazardous transactions, not to mention the errors and blunders which are unavoidable in difficult emergencies, or even the corrupt designs that may be discovered or suspected, every junto2 of ministers is likely in a course of time, to become, in its turn, unpopular, and even to excite the public indignation and resentment. From the multitude of expectants, compared with those who can possibly enjoy places under government, the number of persons who think themselves not rewarded in proportion to their merits, is apt, at the same time, to be continually encreasing, and to supply the party in opposition with new reinforcements. Thus, in the natural progress of things, it might be expected that the growing clamour and discontent against every ministry which had long remained in power would be such<76> as to clog and obstruct their measures, to entangle them in difficulties more and more inextricable, and at length to produce a parliamentary application for their removal.
By the operation of these combined circumstances the English government seemed, in the executive branch, to possess the anvantages both of a monarchy and a republic, by uniting the dignity and authority of a hereditary monarch, calculated to repress insurrection and disorder, with the joint deliberation of several chief executive officers, and a frequent rotation of their offices, tending to guard against the tyranny of a single person.
In the judicial department, it was the object to give decisions, partly according to the rules of law founded upon long experience and observation, partly upon the feelings of equity and the principles of common sense. In the former view professional judges were appointed by the crown: in the latter, jury-men were selected from among the people. To secure, as far as possible, the independence of judges, they were, for the most part, appointed for life. To hin-<77>der jurymen from acquiring the habits of professional judges, they were chosen for each particular cause. So far as the king had retained the direction of public prosecutions for crimes, various regulations were made to prevent the abuses of this power by arbitrary imprisonment, or other acts of oppression.*
Such were the outlines of that constitution which, through many accidental changes, and by a course of gradual improvements upon the primitive system of the European nations, was finally established in the reign of William III. a mixed form of government, but remarkable for its beautiful simplicity, and in which the powers committed to different orders of men were so modelled and adjusted as to become subservient to one great purpose, the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people.<78>
We are not, however, to dream of perfection in any human workmanship. Far less are we to imagine that a government can be so contrived as, for ages, to remain equally suited to a nation whose condition and circumstances are perpetually changing. As the husbandman varies his mode of culture and management, according to the meliorations of the soil, and to the alterations in the state of his farm, or of the markets, the legislator must accommodate his regulations to the progressive changes in the condition of the people for whom they are intended, to their progress in manufactures and commerce, their increase in opulence, and their advances in luxury or in refinement.
In England there were two great changes in the state of society, the remarkable appearance of which may be dated from the revolution, though their commencement was doubtless earlier, and the rapid progress of which may be traced through the whole of the following century. The first is the growing influence of the crown, arising from the patronage which it has acquired, and the<79> correspondent habits of dependence in the people which have thence been produced.
After the government had been settled by the regulations which took place at the revolution, and in the reign of William III. parliament no longer entertained any jealousy of encroachments from the prerogative, and became willing to grant supplies with a liberality of which there was formerly no example. The extensive enterprises in which the crown was engaged, and in which the interest of the nation was deeply involved; the settlement of Britain, the reduction of Ireland, the prosecution of the war with France, were productive of great expence, which the public could not view in any other light than as the price of their liberties, and therefore could not decently, or with any colour of justice, refuse to defray. In a subsequent period, new situations, though less urgent, afforded a plausible pretence for new demands; which, from various reasons, whether of a public or private nature were frequently complied with. England becoming gradually more opulent and powerful, was led, from vanity or am-<80>bition, to take a greater share in the disputes of her neighbours, and to assume a higher rank in the scale of nations. Her civil and military establishments became gradually more extensive; the management and protection of her increasing wealth required a greater variety of regulations; and the number of her officers and magistrates, in all the departments of administration, was, of course, augmented. An augmentation of the public revenue, to supply the growing wants of the state, was thus rendered indispensible.
In a course of time these public burdens became familiar and habitual, both to parliament and to the nation, and the imposition of new taxes, which, in the beginning had often excited alarm and clamour, was at length reduced to an ordinary transaction, requiring little examination or attention, and of which the refusal would betray uncommon suspicion and discontent. It happened in this as it usually happens in cases of private liberality. A donation which has been frequently and regularly bestowed comes, after a length of time, to be regarded as a kind of debt; and to withhold it is looked upon as a<81> species of injury. When parliament had been accustomed to confide in the reports of ministry, and, without much enquiry to acquiesce in their demands, its future confidence and acquiescence were expected; and the money came to be sometimes granted even in cases where the measures of administration, which had occasioned the expence, were condemned and severely censured.
But notwithstanding the readiness of parliament to stretch every nerve in supplying the demands of the executive government, the necessities of administration surpassed, occasionally, what the circumstances of the nation were thought able to afford. Having incurred an expence beyond what the taxes which could be levied within the year were sufficient to repay, the ministry endeavoured to relieve themselves by such an expedient, as in a similar case, has commonly been suggested to individuals. They anticipated the national income, by borrowing the money required, and assigning a particular branch of revenue for the security of the creditor. The funds appropriated to this purpose were not, at first, intended to remain under per-<82>petual mortgage; being sufficient, not only to discharge the yearly interest of the debt, but even to clear the incumbrance in a few years. Successive experiments, however, encouraged ministers to venture upon still more expensive undertakings; the quantity of money in circulation, a consequence of the flourishing state of commerce, enabled them easily to find the sums that were wanted; and by giving to the creditor a high rate of interest, transferrable at pleasure, with other pecuniary emoluments, they had no difficulty in persuading him entirely to sink his capital. In this manner they introduced, what is called, a debt in perpetuity, the amount of which, for obvious reasons, has been continually and rapidly encreasing. By this expedient, a minister, whose interest may lead him to spend the whole public income in time of peace, is enabled to draw upon futurity for the additional expence of maintaining a war; and as in countries advancing rapidly in luxury, dissipation, and extravagance, every succeeding war is likely to be more expensive than the former, his<83> draughts can hardly fail to advance in the same proportion.
The public revenue has thus come to be divided into two great branches; that which is intended to defray the annual expence of government, and that which is levied to discharge the annual interest of the national debt. The former is plainly the source of influence in the crown, in proportion to the patronage resulting from the disposal of the money. All who enjoy, or who expect offices, or places of emolument, in the gift of the crown, and even in some degree their kindred and connections, may be expected to court, and to support that interest upon which they depend; to acquire suitable habits, opinions, and prejudices, and in such disputes or differences as occur between prerogative and privilege, to arrange themselves under the ministerial standard.
In the same class with the patronage derived from this ordinary revenue, we may consider that which arises from various other offices, or places of honour and profit, in the gift, or under the controul and direction of administration, though supported<84> by different funds; such as those proceeding from the government of Ireland, or of the British colonies; the higher dignities in the church; the lucrative places in the service of the East India company,3 and many establishments for education and for charitable purposes. The extent of this patronage cannot easily be calculated; though it is apparently immense, and has been advancing in a highly accelerated ratio, from the revolution to the present time.
The other great branch of the public revenue, what is levied to pay the interest of the national debt, ought to be examined in connection with the money borrowed, by which that debt was contracted.
The money borrowed for the support of a war is the source of influence to the crown in two different ways. First, by its immediate expenditure, which occasions an immense patronage, from the sudden increase of the army and navy, the employment of numerous contractors and other civil officers, the appendages of war, and the various transactions which that active and violent state of the country may pro-<85>duce. Secondly, from the advantages accruing to those rich individuals, who lend the money to government, and who, by availing themselves of the pressing demands of the public, are enabled to reap more profit from the loan, than could be drawn from any other branch of trade.
In this situation the gain of the money-lenders, and of all who are employed in the service of the state, is evidently so much the greater, as the money is commonly spent, and the transactions of government are made, upon the spur of the occasion, amid the hurry and agitation of strong passions, without leisure to deliberate, and without opportunities of practising the ordinary rules of prudence and economy. In such cases, there is unavoidably a negligent waste, a precipitate rashness, in the public expenditure, from which those vermin, who feed upon the necessities of their country, enjoy a plentiful repast.4
Thus a war, though generally hurtful to the community at large, proves often highly beneficial to a portion of its members; to the landed gentlemen, who, by serving in<86> the army and navy, obtain a provision for themselves and their families; and those of the mercantile interest, who, by the extensive loans to government, and by lucrative employments, obtain the means of accumulating princely fortunes. From these private considerations it happens, that so much blood and treasure is frequently consumed in wars, undertaken from trivial causes, and continued without any rational prospect of public advantage.
To be sensible of the extent of this evil we need only consider, that, of the period which has elapsed from the revolution to the present time, between a third and one-half has been employed in wars, prosecuted in this expensive and improvident manner, and producing an incessant and regularly accelerated accumulation of public debt, which now amounts to more than five hundred millions.* It cannot escape observation, that the uncommon influence acquired by the crown, while the nation is in a state of warfare, will not be immediately extin-<87>guished upon the conclusion of a peace, but, from the usual effects of habit, by remembrance of the past, and by anticipation of future emoluments, may in some measure be retained and propagated from one military harvest to another.
With respect to the permanent funds created for paying the interest of the national debt, these give rise to a separate influence of the crown; first, by inducing the holders of stock to promote the popularity of ministers, and to support their measures, in order to raise the value of those funds; secondly, by the number of public officers, in the nomination of the king, who are employed in collecting or managing this branch of the revenue.
Upon the whole, the ordinary public revenue directly at the disposal of the crown, or indirectly contributing to its influence, which, immediately before the revolution, amounted to about two millions yearly, has, by the gradual expansion of the two great branches already mentioned, risen to the prodigious annual sum of above thirty millions; and thus without including the<88> value of those numerous offices and places, in the gift of the crown, which are supported by other funds than the national taxes.
That the secret influence of the crown has been continually encreasing from this change of circumstances will hardly be doubted. But has it encreased in proportion to the rise of the public revenue, and to the encrease in the value of all the offices and emoluments at the disposal of administration? This appears to merit a particular examination.
To have a full view of this question, it is proper to observe, that the augmentation of the public revenue, since the accession of William III. has proceeded from three different causes.
1. It has proceeded, in part, from the encreasing wealth of the nation. The defence of property is one of the great purposes of government; and according as more wealth has been accumulated by any people, its protection and security will cost more trouble; and, by giving rise to a more intricate system of regulations, will<89> require the employment of a greater number of persons in the service of administration. The encrease of riches in a country has, at the same time, a tendency to raise the price of commodities, as well as, from fashion, to introduce more expensive modes of living; and this makes it necessary that the different servants of government, to preserve the same rank as formerly, should obtain a suitable advancement of emoluments. An encrease of taxes, in some shape or other, is thus rendered indispensible.
So far as an augmentation of the revenue has arisen from the greater difficulty in the protection of property, producing a more intricate system of management, it must undoubtedly have encreased the influence of the crown; but so far as this augmentation has proceeded from a rise in the expence of living, there seems no ground for ascribing to it any such tendency. Supposing the expence of living to be trebled or quadrupled since the revolution, and that upon this account, the public revenue has been encreased in the same proportion; this encrease will neither enable ministers to<90> hire more servants, nor to reward them better; nor if it were employed even in the direct operation of bribery, would it produce a greater effect.
2. The augmentation of the public revenue has likewise been partly derived from an enlargement of the empire, and from a multiplication of the inhabitants. The greater the number of people included in one system of government, the management of their public concerns will be rendered the more complex, and of consequence more expensive. That this circumstance has contributed greatly to extend the influence of the sovereign is unquestionable.
The larger and more populous any empire becomes, that is, the greater the number of individuals paying taxes, the influence of the king, who has the disposal of the revenue, will, other circumstances being equal, become so much the greater; because that revenue acquires a greater superiority over the wealth of any one of his subjects, and overbalances more decisively that of any junto of the people, who could possibly associate for opposing and<91> controuling his authority. Suppose, for example, a nation composed of no more than 100,000 men, paying taxes at the rate of forty shillings each person. The revenue, which would thence arise, of 200,000 l. a year, would probably not render the Sovereign much richer than a few of his most opulent subjects, and consequently, after deducting the sum requisite for maintaining his family, would be totally inadequate to the support of his rank.
If the state were so enlarged as that the people, paying taxes at the same rate, amounted to a million, it is evident, that by the revenue of two millions yearly, which would thus be levied, the king would be exalted in a much greater proportion, and would have little reason to fear that his influence might be counterbalanced by any casual accumulation of property in the hands of his refractory subjects. By supposing a state to comprehend twenty or thirty millions, we may conceive that the revenue, according to the same rate of taxation, would bear down all opposition, and become perfectly irresistible.<92>
Lastly, the increase of the public revenue, during the period under consideration, may, perhaps chiefly, be imputed to the negligence and mismanagement incident to all extensive undertakings. Whoever considers the waste and bad economy which commonly take place in managing the private estate of a rich individual; the idleness and embezzlement of servants; the inattention, the fraudulent and collusive practices of stewards and overseers, may easily conceive the still greater abuses that are likely to occur in managing the concerns of a great empire. As there a strict oversight is impossible, all the servants in the various departments of government are left in some measure to their own discretion, and are at liberty to practice innumerable expedients for promoting their own interest. They will endeavour, therefore, we may suppose, to improve their situation in two different ways: first, by laying hold of every pretence, and employing every method to encrease their perquisites and emoluments: secondly, by doing as little as they possibly can, without in-<93>curring either punishment or censure; so that, in order to supply their deficiencies, a variety of assistants and inspectors must be appointed. The expence of administration is thus unnecessarily augmented, both by a needless multiplication of the officers in the service of government, and by bestowing upon them a greater income than the performance of their duty gives them any right to demand. To what a monstrous height has this abuse, which has continued for more than a century, been at length carried! How many officers, in church and state, obtain immense fortunes from the public for doing no work, or next to none! How many are often employed to perform the duty which might easily be performed by a single person! The tendency of this to encrease the patronage, and consequently the influence of the crown, is too obvious to require illustration.
It should seem, therefore, that the augmentation of the public revenue, so far as it has proceeded from any other circumstance, except an augmentation in the ge-<94>neral expence of living, has been attended with a proportional encrease in the patronage and influence of the crown, and has contributed to strengthen the monarchical part of the constitution.
We may further remark, that the influence, arising from the causes already specified, is apt to be the greater, as it operates upon the manners and habits of a mercantile people: a people engrossed by lucrative trades; and professions, whose great object is gain, and whose ruling principle is avarice: a people whose distinguishing feature, as a great author observes, is justice; equally opposed to dishonesty on the one hand, and to generosity on the other; not that nice and delicate justice, the offspring of refined humanity, but that coarse, though useful virtue, the guardian of contracts and promises, whose guide is the square and the compass, and whose protector is the gallows. By a people of this description, no opportunity of earning a penny is to be lost; and whatever holds out a view of interest, without violating any<95> municipal law, or incurring any hazard, is to be warmly embraced. Quaerenda pecunia primum.5
From the time of the revolution, accordingly, we may trace, in some measure, a new order of things; a new principle of authority, which is worthy the attention of all who speculate upon political subjects. Before that period, the friends of liberty dreaded only the direct encroachments of the prerogative: they have since learnt to entertain stronger apprehensions of the secret motives of interest which the crown may hold up to individuals, and by which it may seduce them from the duty which they owe to the public. To what a height, in fact, has this influence been raised in all the departments of government, and how extensively has it pervaded all ranks and descriptions of the inhabitants. In the army, in the church, at the bar, in the republic of letters, in finance, in mercantile and manufacturing corporations. Not to mention pensioners and placemen; together with the various officers connected with the distribution of justice, and the execution of<96> the laws, the corps diplomatique, and the members of the king’s confidential council. With what a powerful charm does it operate in regulating opinions, in healing grievances, in stifling clamours, in quieting the noisy patriot, in extinguishing the most furious opposition! It is the great opiate which inspires political courage, and lulls reflection; which animates the statesman to despise the resentment of the people; which drowns the memory of his former professions, and deadens, perhaps, the shame and remorse of pulling down the edifice which he had formerly reared.
Nor is the influence, founded on the numerous offices in the gift of the crown, confined to those who are in possession and in expectation of such offices, or even to their numerous relations and friends. In every country, a great majority of the people immersed in pursuits of gain, devoted to pleasure, unaccustomed to political speculation, or destitute of that firmness of character, which enables a man to assert the truth through good report, and through bad, are apt to take their opinions, in a great<97> measure from those around them. Such people are always to be found in the party prevailing for the time, whether the current may run in the channel of prerogative or of freedom; like those who are indifferent in religion, they are always supposed to hold the ruling faith, and counted as members of the established church. It is therefore of infinite consequence to have a number of partisans scattered through the nation, at all times zealous to support the administration, and ready to extol their measures. In this way, placemen, pensioners and expectants are of the most essential service to their employers. Like people stationed in different parts of a theatre to support a new play, they set up such an enthusiastic and noisy applause, as by giving an appearance of general approbation, drowns all opposition, confounds the timid, and secures the concurrence of that immense class of persons who either want leisure or talents to judge for themselves. In this manner it frequently happens that good and bad administrations have nearly an equal appearance of<98> popularity, and that ruinous measures seem to be sanctioned by the opinion of the nation.
The progressive advancement of influence in the crown, has gradually been productive of changes in the methods of conducting the business of the legislature. It was early an essential maxim in the English government, as I formerly observed, that every proposal for a new statute should originate in either house of parliament; and that, it could not come under the consideration of the king, until it had passed through the two houses. The crown, therefore, had merely a negative upon the resolutions of parliament, a power of preventing the state vessel from wandering into a new tract, not that of putting it in motion, or of directing its course. From the circumstances which have been mentioned, this order of proceeding is, in a good measure, inverted. Though the king had no right to interfere in the deliberations of parliament; yet his ministers, as members of either house, might suggest any bill to its consideration; and, from the secret influence of the crown,<99> the bills introduced in this manner were likely to obtain a favourable hearing, and to be most successful. At present almost all bills of importance are thus indirectly brought into parliament by the crown, and in all ordinary cases, are supported and passed by a great majority. Thus while the king no longer exercises his original prerogative of with-holding the royal assent from the determinations of parliament, he has in reality acquired the more important power of proposing the laws, and the privilege of debate which remains in the two houses, is reduced to a mere passive power of controul; that is, to be little more than a negative; a negative too, which, in the ordinary state of political controversy, can rarely be exercised.
Has there occurred nothing on the other side to counterbalance the effect of this growing patronage, and its correspondent influence? Have the progressive changes in the state of society, since the time of the revolution-settlement, contributed uniformly to support the authority of the monarch,<100> and can we discover no circumstances of an opposite nature tending to preserve the former equilibrium, by supporting the popular part of our constitution? The rapid improvements of arts and manufactures, and the correspondent extension of commerce, which followed the clear and accurate limitation of the prerogative, produced a degree of wealth and affluence, which diffused a feeling of independence and a high spirit of liberty, through the great body of the people; while the advancement of science and literature dissipated the narrow political prejudices which had prevailed, and introduced such principles as were more favourable to the equal rights of mankind. This is the other great change in the state of society, to which I alluded in the beginning of this chapter, and of which I shall now proceed to give an account.
In a review of the different reigns, from that of William III. to the present time, I shall afterwards endeavour to trace the struggles between those two opposite principles, of regal influence and popular inde-<101>pendence, and to point out the chief incidents of a constitutional history, lying in a good measure beneath that common surface of events which occupies the details of the vulgar historian.<102>
[* ]See the debates upon this subject soon after the revolution. Hatsell’s Proceedings of Parliament.
[1. ]Compare Smith’s view of the balance of powers in the English Constitution in LJ, 269 and 421–22.
[2. ]From Spanish junta, a cabal, council, or committee. The term was applied by contemporaries to a small group of aristocratic Whig politicians who wielded great influence in a series of ministries at the turn of the eighteenth century.
[* ]The most remarkable of those regulations, which is called the habeas corpus, by which any person imprisoned on pretence of a crime, may require that his trial should be commenced and finished within a certain time, originated in the great charters, and was rendered more specific in the reigns of Charles I. and Charles II.
[3. ]Chartered by Elizabeth I in 1600 to challenge the Dutch-Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade, the East India Company became the dominant force in the extension of indirect imperial control of India. From the mid-eighteenth century, the company extended its power in India as a result of wars among Indian powers and with other European nations. The impeachment trial of Warren Hastings (1732–1818), led by Edmund Burke, focused public attention on the alleged corruptions of the company.
[4. ]Compare Smith’s view of public finance and its implications for Britain’s “mixed” constitution, LJ, 267–69.
[* ]See resolution of the House of Commons, 5th Jan. and 1st Feb. 1801.
[5. ]“In the first place, money ought to be sought” (Horace, Epistles, I, 1, 53).