The failure of genuine parliamentary government . . . was due . . . to the absence of the feature most necessary for its successful operation: broad agreement among the main power groups in a country about fundamental issues.
. . . The crucial power to determine government policy remained in the hands of the executive leadership. Hence the quality of leadership in every country was at all times of paramount importance.
—Norman Rich, The Age of Nationalism and Reform, 1850-1890 (1977)