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By the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty

A Pre-History of American Democracy
A non fiction book by

The Prehistory of American Democracy
The birth in 1776 of American Independence created a new template for the modern world: the launch of Democracy 1.0, if you like.

But that great creation was not without antecedents. Indeed, the Anglo-Saxon tradition by which a king consulted his people stretches so far back in time that we can't even locate its origin. With the passing centuries, that tradition strengthened and deepened until, by the end of the 1400s, the English Parliament was the most powerful in Europe. More remarkable still, it boasted a wholly elected lower house (roughly equivalent to the House of Representatives), and those elected representatives would exercise an iron grip over the laws and taxes of the land.

That old English tradition was cranky, piecemeal, improvised and imperfect - yet it was that tradition which the Founding Fathers drew on when they came to draw up the US Constitution.

Similarly, American respect for the Rule of Law stretches right back to a violent dispute between a king and his barons in early 13th century England. And the First Amendment rights of American citizens today were first foreshadowed in the coffee shops of seventeenth century London, where the leisured rich demanded uninhibited access to interesting reading matter.

By the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
This short and entertaining book looks at the historical antecedents of various aspects of the US democratic tradition, arguing that if the United States gave the world a template for Democracy 1.0, then English history in the centuries prior offers a glimpse of the beta-release version of that software: infuriating, full of bugs, yet with startling potential.

The book will appeal to those interested in American History and/or English History, with a particular emphasis on the medieval and early-modern periods.

About the Author
Harry Bingham is an acclaimed mystery author. His Fiona Griffiths mystery series has enjoyed starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and has been chosen as a Crime Book of the Year selection by the Boston Globe and the Seattle Times. Harry is British, lives in Oxfordshire - and has a very long-standing interest in British history.

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