Front Page Titles (by Subject) Liberalism in Transition - Literature of Liberty, July/September 1978, vol. 1, No. 3
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Liberalism in Transition - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, July/September 1978, vol. 1, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Liberalism in Transition
“The Law of the Constitution: Dicey's Polemic against Parnell.” Studies (Fall 1976): 210–224.
A. V. Dicey (1835–1922) provided late Victorian conservatism with a rallying standard in his Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (1885). This work was a puzzling about-face in Dicey's political thought and requires explanation. Authored by a previous Radical Whig or Liberal, Dicey's The Law of the Constitution voiced a collectivist aim with a bias for Irish Unionism.
Dicey endorsed liberal John Bright's goal of replacing class representation in Parliament with personal representation to maintain a pluralist society. Dicey applied this to Irish and Scotch representation. He felt that Parliament's ignoring Irish economic and social ills turned patriots into victims of English despotism. This secret British executive government which emerged in Tudor times he saw expanding from Ireland to England's ‘New Imperialism’ in the last third of the nineteenth century (cf. Dicey's The Privy Council.)
During a visit to America with James Bryce, Dicey became a contributor to E.L. Godkin's The Nation, and in 1873 replaced Leslie Stephen as its London correspondent.
He reported critically on England's new imperial role which the historian J.A. Froude sought to justify. Dicey was appalled by Liberal acquiescence in this new imperialism. The ‘Russian menace’ against the Ottoman Empire was the pretext for British executive interventionism in the Balkans, Egypt, and Sudan as well as in Afghanistan. Dicey opposed aggression against the Boer Republics in South Africa. To break the hold of bureaucracy on the people, he was an advocate of Indian nationalism.
Dicey strongly supported the Irish Nationalists led by Charles Stewart Parnell, the advocate both of extending Home Rule (i.e., the Irish Parliament, which was abolished in the Union of 1801) and of terminating feudal landholdings. Supporting Parnell's resistance campaign, Dicey interpreted the Phoenix Park assassinations (1882) in principled terms. The deaths of British Chief Secretary Lord Cavendish and Under-Secretary Burke were provoked as the necessary consequence of the jailings of Parnell and leaders of the Irish Land League.
Henry Villard, American owner of The Nation, arranged for Dicey to organize a party of English liberals in 1883, to show that the Irish Americans had demonstrated themselves adept at self-government. The Nation's editor, Godkin, brought Dicey together with Patrick Ford, editor of the Irish World, who republished Dicey's pro-Irish writings.
However, mounting violence over Ireland disturbed Dicey, who had become Vinerian Professor of English Law at Oxford (1882–1909). And his lectures in 1884, from which he wrote his Law of the Constitution, reversed and revised his earlier liberalism. Praising monarchy, he attacked republicanism and federalism as inefficient; he especially criticized America for its course of laissez-faire. In England, he demanded that Parliament should reject Parnell's Home Rule Bill of 1886, and should restrict the right of public meeting. In case of unity between Liberals and Parnell's Nationalists, Dicey advocated use of executive authority to restrict the power of the Commons.
Instead of focusing on Irish affairs, Dicey called on Parliament to deal with housing for the poor, reform of charities and education, recognition of rights of mothers, and collectivist goals in general.