‘Writing the constitution’ looks at how the British have thought about their constitution. At the heart of this lies an antagonism between liberty and authority. A state of liberty believed to predate the Norman conquest gave every Englishman an entitlement to liberty. Conflict between liberty and monarchical power in the seventeenth century resulted in new, ambiguous legitimizing principles for monarchy. Constitutional scholars like Blackstone, Dicey, and Bagehot tried to explain how the authority of the Crown-in-Parliament was tempered by convention and to find underlying rules and principles. Twentieth-century growth in the electorate and government powers led to a desire to codify the constitution due to a perceived loss of authority.