The UK Bible Students
Jacques Barzun On
Democracy in England and N. America
Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (New
York: HarperCollins; 2000), p. 520.
reproduced with original spellings.
‘In England, the riots of
1831-32 in favor of the pending bill to reform Parliament came close to being a
nationwide revolt; in the United States, the election of President Jackson was
a decisive victory for “the people” as against the “aristocracy” established by
the Founding Fathers; in Canada, eight years of unrest and armed conflict ended
by uniting the provinces and securing political rights.
‘England . . . did ensure
the freedom of the South American colonies by supporting the United States in
the Monroe Doctrine , which warned the European powers against
interfering in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere.
‘To the men of the
Enlightenment the English form of government had been the bulwark of liberty; or
rather, the House of Commons was seen as playing that role.
Rousseau had himself
asserted that for large countries pure democracy was not workable and that
representative government must serve as substitute.
It now became the common
aspiration of all rebels to install such a system in their own lands. In every
language the word parliament meant all that went with it.’