chapter
at their bidding,
Pages 1

That Englishmen have been qualified for the enjoyment of political freedom is mainly due to those local ancient institutions by which they have been trained to !!elf-government. The affairs of the people have been administered not in Parliament only, but in the vestry, the Town Council, the Board Meeting, and the Court of Quarter Sessions, England alone has maintained for centuries a constitutional polity, and her liber!ies may be ascribed above all things to her free local institutions. Since the days of their Saxon ancestors, her sons have learned at ,their own gates the dutiAs and responsibilities of citizens. Associating for the commun good they have become exercised in public affairs. Thousands of small communities have enjoyed the privileges of self-government, taxing themselves through their representatives for local objects ; meeting for discnsaion and business and animatP.d by local rivalries and ambitions. Tfle history of local government affords a striking parallel to the general political history of tha country. . . . .