Local government before 1832
in Explaining local government
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This chapter looks at local government in Britain before 1832. There is little left of the Roman administrative legacy for the provinces of Britain. All that remains are some of the towns themselves, including London as the capital city. The break up of the pax romana by the fourth century ad, and invasions by Anglo Saxons and, later, Vikings ensured that, for most purposes, towns and villages in Britain were self-governing. Above the community level, the county and its divisions were the administrative units representing central government, and hence the monarch. In practice, the power of the monarch over a county or, in a few cases, larger towns acting effectively as counties in their own right could be delegated to one or a number of powerful landlords. The chapter also discusses the Civil War and its consequences, relations between central and local governments, local government and the franchise, the county, the parish, municipal government, London, Scotland, the service functions of local authorities and financing of local governments.

Explaining local government

Local government in Britain since 1800

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