Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
The Rise of Majority Rule in Early Modern Britain and Its Empire
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

This expansive history of the origins of majority rule in modern representative government charts the emergence of majority voting as a global standard for decision-making in popular assemblies. Majority votes had, of course, been held prior to 1642, but not since antiquity had they been held with any frequency by a popular assembly with responsibility for the fate of a nation. The crucial moment in the global triumph of majority rule was its embrace by the elected assemblies of early modern Britain and its empire. William J. Bulman analyzes its sudden appearance in the English House of Commons and its adoption by the elected assemblies of Britain's Atlantic colonies in the age of the English, Glorious, and American Revolutions. These events made it overwhelmingly likely that the United Kingdom, the United States, and their former dependencies would become and remain fundamentally majoritarian polities. Providing an insightful commentary on the state of democratic governance today, this study sheds light on the nature, promise, and perils of majority rule.

Reviews

‘Finally, a history of majority voting! The advent and development of this crucial yet odd feature of modern democracy has long gone unexamined. In this erudite and methodologically sophisticated study, William Bulman fully remedies this situation. The result is a must-read for historians and political scientists alike.’

Sophia Rosenfeld - University of Pennsylvania

‘With analytical precision, Bulman contextualises the origins of majoritarian processes, and makes a powerful case for grounding political history in the development of institutional practices. The result is a brilliant and powerful book, which is conceptually sophisticated and methodologically innovative, and which develops a taut, challenging and historiographically important argument.’

Jason Peacey - University College London

‘This provocative study will interest historians and modern political observers alike, forcing us to rethink what we thought we already knew. Bulman renders puzzling and historicizable what has seemed obvious eternal truth - that majority voting is the inevitable way that political bodies make decisions.’

Rachel Weil - Cornell University

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.
×

Contents

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.