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MAJORITIES: AN EXPLORATION

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The 'History of the Majority' to which F.W. Maitland looked forward a century ago still awaits its author; but some important hints can be derived from an examination of, especially, medieval and early-modern sources. These show how difficult it was foRA 'simple' or numerical majority principle to gain acceptance, whether in the theology and canon-law of the medieval church or in the emergent theory and practice of the modern state. Even -- or perhaps especially -- in the age of 'mass democracy', it has been found, or thought, necessary to plant precautionary hedges around the principle that 'every one should count for one and no one for more than one'.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dept. of History, University College, London.

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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