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CHAPTER II THE STATE AND ITS LEADERS OTUDENTS of the struggle between monarchy and O Parliament in the seventeenth century have worked hard upon black-letter; on charter, custom, franchise, tradition, precedent, and prescription, on which the Commons defended their privileges and the king defended his prerogatives. How much the lawyers really founded their case on the precedents for which they had ransacked the wonderful collections of Sir Robert Cotton, or how far, on the other hand, their "pedantry"' was a mask for a determination that in their hearts rested on very different grounds, opens a discussion into which we need not enter here. What the elective element in the old original monarchy amounted to, and what the popular element in the ancient deliberative council amounted to; what differences in power and prerogative marked the office of a king when it was filled by Angevin, by Plantagenet, or by Tudor, how the control of Parliament over legislation and taxation stood under the first three Edwards and under the last three Henrys; whether the popular champions in the seventeenth century were abandoning both the accustomed theory and the practice of Parliament from Edward I to the end of Elizabeth; whether the real conservative on the old lines of the constitution wasnot King Charles himselfall these and the kindred questions, profoundly interesting as they are, fill little space in the story of Cromwell. It was not until the day of the lawyers and the constitutionalists had passed that Cromwell's hour arrived, and "the meager, stale, forbidding ways of custom, law, and statute" vanished from men's thoughts. To a man of Cromwell's political mind the questions were plainand broad, and could be solved without much history. If the estates of the crown no longer suffic...