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POLITICAL, CONSTITUTIONAL, STATISTICAL
AND FORENSIC KNOWLEDGE.
A WORK OF UNIVERSAL REFERENCE
ON SUBJECTS OF
CIVIL ADMINISTRATION, POLITICAL ECONOMY, FINANCE,
COMMERCE, LAWS AND SOCIAL RELATIONS.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
FROM THE LIBRARY OF MRS. ELLEN HAYEN ROSS
JUNE 28, 1938
ST. MARTIN'S LANR,
To POLITICAL DICTIONARY (under which title the former edition of this work was published) was suggested by the consideration that the 'Penny Cyclopædia' contains a great number of articles on matters of Constitution, Political Economy, Trade and Commerce, Administration, and Law; and that if these articles were so altered as to make them applicable to the present time, wherever alteration was necessary, and new articles were added, wherever there appeared to be a deficiency, a work might be made which would be generally useful.
The citizens of a Free State are or ought to be concerned about everything Political that may affect their own happiness and the condition of future generations. In a system like our own, which is founded on ancient institutions and usages, and has now for near eight centuries been in a conrse of growth and change, the relations of the several parts to one another become so complicated that it is difficult for any one man, however enlarged may be the range of his understanding, and however exact his judgment, to form a correct estimate of the whole of this present society of which he is a part. Such a knowledge can only be got by a combination of a knowledge of the past with the knowledge of the present ; in other words, by an historical exposition of all existing institutions that rest on an ancient foundation, and by a consideration of their actual condition.
The articles in this work combine both methods. The subjects are treated historically, whenever such a treatment is required; and they are also presented in their actual condition, so far as that has been modified by successive enactments, continued usage, or other circum. stances.
The mass of matter that is available in Parliamentary Reports and other printed documents, for such purposes as have been here indicated, is such as no other nation ever possessed ; as indeed no other has ever established an Empire that embraces so many remote countries, so many varied interests. These materials have been used for this work, so far as the limits of it rendered it possible to use them efficiently.
Some of the articles in this Dictionary have been reprinted from the ‘Penny Cyclopædia' with little or no alteration, and some have been reprinted with such alterations as were required by the changes that have taken place within the last ten years. Many articles are entirely new, and treat of important subjects which have never, so far as we know, been presented to English readers in the form of a cheap Dictionary, or indeed in any other form.
It is perhaps hardly necessary to observe that most of the articles which are of a legal and historical character apply only to England; and, in some cases, to England and Ireland. Several however bave been inserted in order to explain such of the institutions of Scotland as are matters of general interest.
In conclusion it may be stated that this is the only work of the kind in the English language. It contains a large amount of information on most political subjects which cannot be found in any other book adapted for general use; and though it does not profess to be a Law Dictionary, nor to be free from the errors which are unavoidable in any work of the kind, it contains legal information, both more copious and more exact than is given in some works which are entitled Law Dictionaries.
The Index contains the heads or titles of all the articles comprised