11 AUGUST 1866, Page 23

The Making of the American Nation. By J. A. Partridge.

(Stanford.) On Democracy. By J. A. Partridge. (Stanford.)—The first of these volumes is an elaborate study on the great precedent of Democracy, and the other is a consideration of the general theory with special reference to the traditions and future of England. Mr. Partridge saw and explains the real nature of the struggle in America, and the necessity that was laid upon the North of crushing the oligarchical principle which had grown and was coming to a head in the South. He then transfers the argument to this country, and whilst recognizing the fitness of the past systems of government for the different stages of the national growth, maintains that we have new virtually broken with the feudal or oligar- chioal principle, and must throw our whole strength into the remodelling of our institutions on a popular basis, and the education of our people for the proper discharge of the new functions that will shortly devolve on there, whether they are prepared or not. Mr. Partridge uses more words than are necessary to express his meaning, and his style is net very attractive; the volume on the American straggle is of intolerable length, and that on "Democracy" contains many of those appeals to the Infinite and the All which are the horror of English politicians, but both volumes deserve the title which the author has prefixed to them of studies. Crammed full of facts and authorities, they are at least valuable as a repertory of sound information and good thought on a subject of pressing interest. After all, the question is only one of time. Most people will agree with the author in his acceptance of Aristotle's stating of the problem, "When the popular party shall exceed more in quantity than it is excelled in quality, democracy must prevail," and few will be prepared to deny that the conditions are tending in the popular direc- tion. "The object of these books is to show that an educated democracy is the only final Conservatism, and that they are but quacks and doctri- naires who, with infinite pains and trickery, seek out many inventions for Conservatism and balances without or against the people, and neglect, abuse, and refuse that true democracy which is the end and aina of all political science."