Theory of Popular Sovereignty

Alexis de Tocqueville has wisely insisted upon the natural tendency of men to confound institutions that are necessary with institutions to which they have grown accustomed.’ It is a truth more general in its application than he perhaps imagined. Certainly the student of political and legal ideas will in each age be compelled to examine theories which are called essential even when their original substance has, under pressure of new circumstance, passed into some allotropic form. Anyone, for instance, who analyses the modern theory of consideration will be convinced that, while judges do homage to an ancient content, they do not hesitate to invest it with new meaning. The social contract is no longer in high place; but those who bow the knee to the fashionable hypothesis of social solidarity half-consciously offers it its old-time worship