Great Britain: For Queen & Country

Historian Walter Bagehot a century ago defined the English system as "government by discussion," and since his day, the teething ring of its rulers has been Oxford's debating society, the Oxford Union. In its hall, which is arranged along lines of the House of Commons, future Prime Ministers from William Ewart Gladstone to Harold Macmillan have honed their skills by debating everything from socialism to "Resolved: That in the opinion of this House, Columbus went too far." So respected is the Oxford Union that when in 1933 it resolved "That this House would not fight for King and Country," a...

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