The term "Grand Tour" refers to the 17th- and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip of Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank when they had come of age. Young women of sufficient means, or those of either gender of a more humble origin who could find a sponsor, could partake; the custom—which flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transport in the 1840s and was associated with a standard itinerary—served as an educational rite of passage. Though the Grand Tour was associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of other Protestant Northern European nations, from the second half of the 18th century, by some South and North Americans. By the mid 18th century, the Grand Tour had become a regular feature of aristocratic education in Central Europe, as well, although it was restricted to the higher nobility; the tradition declined as enthusiasm for neo-classical culture waned, with the advent of accessible rail and steamship travel—an era in which Thomas Cook made the "Cook's Tour" of early mass tourism a byword.
The New York Times in 2008 described the Grand Tour in this way: Three hundred years ago, wealthy young Englishmen began taking a post-Oxbridge trek through France and Italy in search of art and the roots of Western civilization. With nearly unlimited funds, aristocratic connections and months to roam, they commissioned paintings, perfected their language skills and mingled with the upper crust of the Continent; the primary value of the Grand Tour lay in its exposure to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, the only chance to hear certain music. A Grand Tour could last anywhere from several months to several years, it was undertaken in the company of a Cicerone, a knowledgeable guide or tutor. The Grand Tour had more than superficial cultural importance; the legacy of the Grand Tour lives on to the modern day and is still evident in works of travel and literature.
From its aristocratic origins and the permutations of sentimental and romantic travel to the age of tourism and globalization, the Grand Tour still influences the destinations tourists choose and shapes the ideas of culture and sophistication that surround the act of travel. In essence, the Grand Tour was neither a scholarly pilgrimage nor a religious one, though a pleasurable stay in Venice and a residence in Rome were essential. Catholic Grand Tourists followed the same routes as Protestant Whigs. Since the 17th century, a tour to such places was considered essential for budding artists to understand proper painting and sculpture techniques, though the trappings of the Grand Tour—valets and coachmen a cook a "bear-leader" or scholarly guide—were beyond their reach; the advent of popular guides, such as the book An Account of Some of the Statues, Bas-Reliefs and Pictures in Italy published in 1722 by Jonathan Richardson and his son Jonathan Richardson the Younger, did much to popularise such trips, following the artists themselves, the elite considered travel to such centres as necessary rites of passage.
For gentlemen, some works of art were essential to demonstrate the breadth and polish they had received from their tour. In Rome, antiquaries like Thomas Jenkins were dealers and were able to sell and advise on the purchase of marbles. Coins and medals, which formed more portable souvenirs and a respected gentleman's guide to ancient history were popular. Pompeo Batoni made a career of painting the English milordi posed with graceful ease among Roman antiquities. Many continued on to Naples, where they viewed Herculaneum and Pompeii, but few ventured far into Southern Italy, fewer still to Greece still under Turkish rule. Rome for many centuries had been the goal of pilgrims during Jubilee when they visited the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. In Britain, Thomas Coryat's travel book Coryat's Crudities, published during the Twelve Years' Truce, was an early influence on the Grand Tour but it was the far more extensive tour through Italy as far as Naples undertaken by the'Collector' Earl of Arundel, with his wife and children in 1613–14 that established the most significant precedent.
This is because he asked Inigo Jones, not yet established as an architect but known as a'great traveller' and masque designer, to act as his cicerone. Larger numbers of tourists began their tours after the Peace of Münster in 1648. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of the term was by Richard Lassels, an expatriate Roman Catholic priest, in his book The Voyage of Italy, published posthumously in Paris in 1670 and in London. Lassels's introduction listed four areas in which travel furnished "an accomplished, consummate Traveller": the intellectual, the social, the ethical, the political; the idea of travelling for the sake of curiosity and learning was a developing idea in the 17th century. With John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, it was argued, accepted, that knowledge comes entire
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, political pamphleteer and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. Swift is remembered for works such as A Tale of a Tub, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, he is regarded by the Encyclopædia Britannica as the foremost prose satirist in the English language, is less well known for his poetry. He published all of his works under pseudonyms – such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M. B. Drapier – or anonymously, he was a master of two styles of the Horatian and Juvenalian styles. His deadpan, ironic writing style in A Modest Proposal, has led to such satire being subsequently termed "Swiftian". Jonathan Swift was born on 30 November 1667 in Ireland, he was the second child and only son of Jonathan Swift and his wife Abigail Erick of Frisby on the Wreake. His father was a native of Goodrich, but he accompanied his brothers to Ireland to seek their fortunes in law after their Royalist father's estate was brought to ruin during the English Civil War.
His maternal grandfather, James Ericke, was the vicar of England. In 1634 the vicar was convicted of Puritan practices; some time thereafter and his family, including his young daughter Abilgail, fled to Ireland. Swift's father joined Godwin, in the practice of law in Ireland, he died in Dublin. He died of syphilis. At the age of one, child Jonathan was taken by his wet nurse to her hometown of Whitehaven, England, he said. His nurse returned him still in Ireland, when he was three, his mother returned to England after his birth, leaving him in the care of his Uncle Godwin, a close friend and confidant of Sir John Temple whose son employed Swift as his secretary. Swift's family had several interesting literary connections, his grandmother Elizabeth Swift was the niece of Sir Erasmus Dryden, grandfather of poet John Dryden. The same grandmother's aunt Katherine Dryden was a first cousin of Elizabeth, wife of Sir Walter Raleigh, his great-great grandmother Margaret Swift was the sister of Francis Godwin, author of The Man in the Moone which influenced parts of Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
His uncle Thomas Swift married a daughter of poet and playwright Sir William Davenant, a godson of William Shakespeare. Swift's benefactor and uncle Godwin Swift took primary responsibility for the young man, sending him with one of his cousins to Kilkenny College, he arrived there at the age of six, where he was expected to have learned the basic declensions in Latin. He had so started at a lower form. Swift graduated in 1682, when he was 15, he attended Dublin University in 1682, financed by Godwin's son Willoughby. The four-year course followed a curriculum set in the Middle Ages for the priesthood; the lectures were dominated by Aristotelian philosophy. The basic skill taught the students was debate and they were expected to be able to argue both sides of any argument or topic. Swift was an above-average student but not exceptional, received his B. A. in 1686 "by special grace."Swift was studying for his master's degree when political troubles in Ireland surrounding the Glorious Revolution forced him to leave for England in 1688, where his mother helped him get a position as secretary and personal assistant of Sir William Temple at Moor Park, Farnham.
Temple was an English diplomat who arranged the Triple Alliance of 1668. He had retired from public service to his country estate to write his memoirs. Gaining his employer's confidence, Swift "was trusted with matters of great importance". Within three years of their acquaintance, Temple had introduced his secretary to William III and sent him to London to urge the King to consent to a bill for triennial Parliaments. Swift took up his residence at Moor Park where he met Esther Johnson eight years old, the daughter of an impoverished widow who acted as companion to Temple's sister Lady Giffard. Swift was her tutor and mentor, giving her the nickname "Stella", the two maintained a close but ambiguous relationship for the rest of Esther's life. In 1690, Swift left Temple for Ireland because of his health but returned to Moor Park the following year; the illness consisted of fits of vertigo or giddiness, now known to be Ménière's disease, it continued to plague him throughout his life. During this second stay with Temple, Swift received his M.
A. from Hart Hall, Oxford, in 1692. He left Moor Park despairing of gaining a better position through Temple's patronage, to become an ordained priest in the Established Church of Ireland, he was appointed to the prebend of Kilroot in the Diocese of Connor in 1694, with his parish located at Kilroot, near Carrickfergus in County Antrim. Swift appears to have been miserable in his new position, being isolated in a small, remote community far from the centres of power and influence. While at Kilroot, however, he may well have become romantically involved with Jane Waring, whom he called "Varina", the sister of an old college friend. A letter from him survives, offering to remain if she would marry him and promising to leave and never return to Ireland if she refused, she refused, because Swift left his post and returned to England and Temple's service at Moor Park in 1696, he remained there until Temple's death. There he was employ
Whigs (British political party)
The Whigs were a political faction and a political party in the parliaments of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Between the 1680s and 1850s, they contested power with the Tories; the Whigs' origin lay in constitutional opposition to absolute monarchy. The Whigs played a central role in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and were the standing enemies of the Stuart kings and pretenders, who were Roman Catholic; the Whigs took full control of the government in 1715 and remained dominant until King George III, coming to the throne in 1760, allowed Tories back in. The Whig Supremacy was enabled by the Hanoverian succession of George I in 1714 and the failed Jacobite rising of 1715 by Tory rebels; the Whigs purged the Tories from all major positions in government, the army, the Church of England, the legal profession and local offices. The Party's hold on power was so strong and durable, historians call the period from 1714 to 1783 the age of the Whig Oligarchy; the first great leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government through the period 1721–1742 and whose protégé Henry Pelham led from 1743 to 1754.
Both parties began as loose groupings or tendencies, but became quite formal by 1784 with the ascension of Charles James Fox as the leader of a reconstituted Whig Party, arrayed against the governing party of the new Tories under William Pitt the Younger. Both parties were founded on rich politicians more than on popular votes, there were elections to the House of Commons, but a small number of men controlled most of the voters; the Whig Party evolved during the 18th century. The Whig tendency supported the great aristocratic families, the Protestant Hanoverian succession and toleration for nonconformist Protestants, while some Tories supported the exiled Stuart royal family's claim to the throne and all Tories supported the established Church of England and the gentry. On, the Whigs drew support from the emerging industrial interests and wealthy merchants, while the Tories drew support from the landed interests and the royal family. However, by the first half of the 19th century the Whig political programme came to encompass not only the supremacy of parliament over the monarch and support for free trade, but Catholic emancipation, the abolition of slavery and expansion of the franchise.
The 19th century Whig support for Catholic emancipation was a complete reversal of the party's historic anti-Catholic position at its late 17th century origin. The term "Whig" was short for "whiggamor", a term meaning "cattle driver" used to describe western Scots who came to Leith for corn. In the reign of Charles I the term was used during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms to refer derisively to a radical faction of the Scottish Covenanters who called themselves the "Kirk Party", it was applied to Scottish Presbyterian rebels who were against the King's Episcopalian order in Scotland. The term "Whig" entered English political discourse during the Exclusion Bill crisis of 1678–1681 when there was controversy about whether or not King Charles II's brother, should be allowed to succeed to the throne on Charles's death. "Whig" was a term of abuse applied to those who wanted to exclude James on the grounds that he was a Roman Catholic. The fervent Tory Samuel Johnson joked that "the first Whig was the Devil".
Under Lord Shaftesbury's leadership, the Whigs in the Parliament of England wished to exclude the Duke of York from the throne due to his Roman Catholicism, his favouring of monarchical absolutism, his connections to France. They believed the heir presumptive, if allowed to inherit the throne, would endanger the Protestant religion and property; the first Exclusion Bill was supported by a substantial majority on its second reading in May 1679. In response, King Charles prorogued Parliament and dissolved it, but the subsequent elections in August and September saw the Whigs' strength increase; this new parliament did not meet for thirteen months, because Charles wanted to give passions a chance to die down. When it met in October 1680, an Exclusion Bill was introduced and passed in the Commons without major resistance, but was rejected in the Lords. Charles dissolved Parliament in January 1681, but the Whigs did not suffer serious losses in the ensuing election; the next Parliament first met in March at Oxford, but Charles dissolved it after only a few days, when he made an appeal to the country against the Whigs and determined to rule without Parliament.
In February, Charles had made a deal with the French King Louis XIV, who promised to support him against the Whigs. Without Parliament, the Whigs crumbled due to government repression following the discovery of the Rye House Plot; the Whig peers, the Earl of Melville, the Earl of Leven, Lord Shaftesbury, Charles II's illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth, being implicated, fled to and regrouped in the United Provinces. Algernon Sidney, Sir Thomas Armstrong and William Russell, Lord Russell, were executed for treason; the Earl of Essex committed suicide in the Tower of London over his arrest for treason, whilst Lord Grey of Werke escaped from the Tower. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Queen Mary II and King William III governed with both Whigs and Tories, despite the fact that many of the Tories still supported the deposed Roman Catholic James II. William saw that the Tories were friendlier to royal authority than the Whigs and he employed both groups in his government, his early ministry was Tory, but the government came to be dominated by the so-called Junto Whig
James Thomson (poet, born 1700)
James Thomson was a British poet and playwright, known for his poems The Seasons and The Castle of Indolence, for the lyrics of "Rule, Britannia!". James Thomson was born in Ednam in Roxburghshire around 11 September 1700 and baptised on 15 September, he was the fourth of nine children of Beatrix Thomson. Beatrix Thomson was born in Fogo and was a distant relation of the house of Hume. Thomas Thomson was the Presbyterian minister of Ednam until eight weeks after Thomson's birth, when he was admitted as minister of Southdean, where Thomson spent most of his early years. Thomson may have attended the parish school of Southdean before going to the grammar school in Jedburgh in 1712, he failed to distinguish himself there. Shiels, his earliest biographer, writes:'far from appearing to possess a sprightly genius, was considered by his schoolmaster, those which directed his education, as being without a common share of parts', he was, encouraged to write poetry by Robert Riccaltoun, a farmer and Presbyterian minister.
While some early poems by Thomson survive, he burned most of them on New Year's Day each year. Thomson entered the College of Edinburgh in autumn 1715, destined for the Presbyterian ministry. At Edinburgh he studied metaphysics, Ethics, Greek and Natural Philosophy, he completed his arts course in 1719 but chose not to graduate, instead entering Divinity Hall to become a minister. In 1716 Thomas Thomson died, with local legend saying that he was killed whilst performing an exorcism. At Edinburgh Thomson became a member of the Grotesque Club, a literary group, he met his lifelong friend David Mallet. After the successful publication of some of his poems in the ‘’Edinburgh Miscellany’’ Thomson followed Mallet to London in February 1725 in an effort to publish his verse. In London, Thomson became a tutor to the son of Charles Hamilton, Lord Binning, through connections on his mother's side of the family. Through David Mallet, by 1724 a published poet, Thomson met the great English poets of the day including Richard Savage, Aaron Hill and Alexander Pope.
Thomson's mother died on 12 May 1725, around the time of his writing ‘Winter’, the first poem of ‘‘The Seasons’’. ‘Winter’ was first published in 1726 by John Millian, with a second edition being released the same year. By 1727, Thomson was working on Summer, published in February, was working at Watt's Academy, a school for young gentlemen and a bastion of Newtonian science. In the same year Millian published a poem by Thomson titled ‘A Poem to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton’. Leaving Watt's academy, Thomson hoped to earn a living through his poetry, helped by his acquiring several wealthy patrons including Thomas Rundle, the countess of Hertford and Charles Talbot, 1st Baron Talbot, he wrote Spring in 1728 and Autumn in 1730, when the set of four was published together as The Seasons. During this period he wrote other poems, such as to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton, his first play, The Tragedy of Sophonisba; the latter is best known today for its mention in Samuel Johnson's Lives of the English Poets, where Johnson records that one'feeble' line of the poem – "O, Sophonisba, O!" was parodied by the wags of the theatre as, "O, Jemmy Thomson, Jemmy Thomson, O!".
In 1730, he became tutor to the son of Sir Charles Talbot Solicitor-General, spent nearly two years in the company of the young man on a tour of Europe. On his return Talbot arranged for him to become a secretary in chancery, which gave him financial security until Talbot's death in 1737. Meanwhile, there appeared Liberty. In 1740, he collaborated with Mallet on the masque Alfred, first performed at Cliveden, the country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Thomson's words for "Rule Britannia", written as part of that masque and set to music by Thomas Arne, became one of the best-known British patriotic songs – quite apart from the masque, now forgotten; the Prince gave him a pension of £100 per annum. He had introduced him to George Lyttelton, who became his friend and patron. In years, Thomson lived in Richmond upon Thames, it was there that he wrote his final work The Castle of Indolence, published just before his untimely death on 27 August 1748. Johnson writes about Thomson's death, "by taking cold on the water between London and Kew, he caught a disorder, with some careless exasperation, ended in a fever that put end to his life".
He is buried in St. Mary Magdalene church in Richmond. A dispute over the publishing rights to one of his works, The Seasons, gave rise to two important legal decisions in the history of copyright. Thomson's The Seasons was translated into German by Barthold Heinrich Brockes; this translation formed the basis for a work with the same title by Gottfried van Swieten, which became the libretto for Haydn's oratorio The Seasons. Thomson is one of the sixteen Scottish poets and writers appearing on the Scott Monument on Princes Street in Edinburgh, he appears on the right side of the east face. Thomson has a large memorial in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey next to William Shakespeare and underneath his countryman, Robert Burns; the four seasons, other poems. By James Thomson. London: printed for J. Millan, near Scotland-Yard, White-Hall. DCC. XXXV. 1735.. Thomson, James & Bloomfield, The Seasons & Castles of Indolence / The Farmer's Boy, Rural T
Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu referred to as Montesquieu, was a French judge, man of letters, political philosopher. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, implemented in many constitutions throughout the world, he is known for doing more than any other author to secure the place of the word "despotism" in the political lexicon. His anonymously published The Spirit of the Laws in 1748, received well in both Great Britain and the American colonies, influenced the Founding Fathers in drafting the United States Constitution. Montesquieu was born at the Château de la Brède in southwest France, 25 kilometres south of Bordeaux, his father, Jacques de Secondat, was a soldier with a long noble ancestry. His mother, Marie Françoise de Pesnel, who died when Charles was seven, was an heiress who brought the title of Barony of La Brède to the Secondat family. After the death of his mother he was sent to the Catholic College of Juilly, a prominent school for the children of French nobility, where he remained from 1700 to 1711.
His father died in 1713 and he became a ward of his uncle, the Baron de Montesquieu. He became a counselor of the Bordeaux Parliament in 1714; the next year, he married the Protestant Jeanne de Lartigue, who bore him three children. The Baron died in 1716, leaving him his fortune as well as his title, the office of président à mortier in the Bordeaux Parliament. Montesquieu's early life occurred at a time of significant governmental change. England had declared itself a constitutional monarchy in the wake of its Glorious Revolution, had joined with Scotland in the Union of 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In France, the long-reigning Louis XIV died in 1715 and was succeeded by the five-year-old Louis XV; these national transformations had a great impact on Montesquieu. Montesquieu withdrew from the practice of law to devote himself to writing, he achieved literary success with the publication of his 1721 Persian Letters, a satire representing society as seen through the eyes of two imaginary Persian visitors to Paris and Europe, cleverly criticizing the absurdities of contemporary French society.
He next published Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline, considered by some scholars, among his three best known books, as a transition from The Persian Letters to his master work. The Spirit of the Laws was published anonymously in 1748; the book rose to influence political thought profoundly in Europe and America. In France, the book met with an unfriendly reception from both supporters and opponents of the regime; the Catholic Church banned The Spirit – along with many of Montesquieu's other works – in 1751 and included it on the Index of Prohibited Books. It received the highest praise from the rest of Europe Britain. Montesquieu was highly regarded in the British colonies in North America as a champion of liberty. According to one political scientist, he was the most quoted authority on government and politics in colonial pre-revolutionary British America, cited more by the American founders than any source except for the Bible. Following the American Revolution, Montesquieu's work remained a powerful influence on many of the American founders, most notably James Madison of Virginia, the "Father of the Constitution".
Montesquieu's philosophy that "government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another" reminded Madison and others that a free and stable foundation for their new national government required a defined and balanced separation of powers. Besides composing additional works on society and politics, Montesquieu traveled for a number of years through Europe including Austria and Hungary, spending a year in Italy and 18 months in England, where he became a freemason, admitted to the Horn Tavern Lodge in Westminster, before resettling in France, he was troubled by poor eyesight, was blind by the time he died from a high fever in 1755. He was buried in the Église Paris. Montesquieu's philosophy of history minimized the role of individual events, he expounded the view in Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence that each historical event was driven by a principal movement: It is not chance that rules the world. Ask the Romans, who had a continuous sequence of successes when they were guided by a certain plan, an uninterrupted sequence of reverses when they followed another.
There are general causes and physical, which act in every monarchy, elevating it, maintaining it, or hurling it to the ground. All accidents are controlled by these causes, and if the chance of one battle—that is, a particular cause—has brought a state to ruin, some general cause made it necessary for that state to perish from a single battle. In a word, the main trend draws with it all particular accidents. In discussing the transition from the Republic to the Empire, he suggested that if Caesar and Pompey had not worked to usurp the government of the Republic, other men would have risen in their place; the cause was not the ambition of man. Montesquieu is credited as being among the progenitors, which include Herodotus and Tacitus, of anthropology, as being among the first to extend comparative methods of classification to the political forms in human societies. Indeed, the French political anthropologist Georges Balandier considered Montesquieu to be "the initiator of a scientific enterprise that for a time performed the role of cultural and social anthrop
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council known as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords; the Privy Council formally advises the sovereign on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative, corporately it issues executive instruments known as Orders in Council, which among other powers enact Acts of Parliament. The Council holds the delegated authority to issue Orders of Council used to regulate certain public institutions; the Council advises the sovereign on the issuing of Royal Charters, which are used to grant special status to incorporated bodies, city or borough status to local authorities. Otherwise, the Privy Council's powers have now been replaced by its executive committee, the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. Certain judicial functions are performed by the Queen-in-Council, although in practice its actual work of hearing and deciding upon cases is carried out day-to-day by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The Judicial Committee consists of senior judges appointed as Privy Counsellors: predominantly Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and senior judges from the Commonwealth. The Privy Council acted as the High Court of Appeal for the entire British Empire, continues to hear appeals from the Crown Dependencies, the British Overseas Territories, some independent Commonwealth states; the Privy Council of the United Kingdom was preceded by the Privy Council of Scotland and the Privy Council of England. The key events in the formation of the modern Privy Council are given below: In Anglo-Saxon England, Witenagemot was an early equivalent to the Privy Council of England. During the reigns of the Norman monarchs, the English Crown was advised by a royal court or curia regis, which consisted of magnates and high officials; the body concerned itself with advising the sovereign on legislation and justice. Different bodies assuming distinct functions evolved from the court; the courts of law took over the business of dispensing justice, while Parliament became the supreme legislature of the kingdom.
The Council retained the power to hear legal disputes, either in the first instance or on appeal. Furthermore, laws made by the sovereign on the advice of the Council, rather than on the advice of Parliament, were accepted as valid. Powerful sovereigns used the body to circumvent the Courts and Parliament. For example, a committee of the Council—which became the Court of the Star Chamber—was during the 15th century permitted to inflict any punishment except death, without being bound by normal court procedure. During Henry VIII's reign, the sovereign, on the advice of the Council, was allowed to enact laws by mere proclamation; the legislative pre-eminence of Parliament was not restored until after Henry VIII's death. Though the royal Council retained legislative and judicial responsibilities, it became a administrative body; the Council consisted of forty members in 1553, but the sovereign relied on a smaller committee, which evolved into the modern Cabinet. By the end of the English Civil War, the monarchy, House of Lords, Privy Council had been abolished.
The remaining parliamentary chamber, the House of Commons, instituted a Council of State to execute laws and to direct administrative policy. The forty-one members of the Council were elected by the House of Commons. In 1653, Cromwell became Lord Protector, the Council was reduced to between thirteen and twenty-one members, all elected by the Commons. In 1657, the Commons granted Cromwell greater powers, some of which were reminiscent of those enjoyed by monarchs; the Council became known as the Protector's Privy Council. In 1659, shortly before the restoration of the monarchy, the Protector's Council was abolished. Charles II restored the Royal Privy Council, but he, like previous Stuart monarchs, chose to rely on a small group of advisers. Under George I more power transferred to this committee, it now began to meet in the absence of the sovereign, communicating its decisions to him after the fact. Thus, the British Privy Council, as a whole, ceased to be a body of important confidential advisers to the sovereign.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of the word privy in Privy Council is an obsolete meaning "of or pertaining to a particular person or persons, one's own". It is related to the word private, derives from the French word privé; the sovereign, when acting on the Council's advice, is known as the King-in-Council or Queen-in-Council. The members of the Council are collectively known as The Lords of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council; the chief officer of the body is the Lord President of the Council, the fourth highest Great Officer of State, a Cabinet member and either the Leader of the House of Lords or of the House of Commons. Another important official is the Clerk, whose signature is appended to all orders made in the Council. Both Privy Counsellor and Privy Councillor may be used to refer to a member of the Council; the former, however, is preferred by the Privy Council Office, emphasising English usage of the term Counsellor a