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Commonwealth principles by Jonathan Scott

By Jonathan Scott

Analyzing works which supported the abolition of monarchy and its alternative with a republic, Jonathan Scott ventures past present reviews of person authors or particular issues to provide the 1st basic account of an influential physique of writing. Poets akin to John Milton in addition to reporters, political leaders, theorists and whig martyrs have been between these contributing to the cultural ferment. the result's an enormous contribution to our figuring out of seventeenth-century England, from considered one of its ultimate historians.

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Part i Contexts chap t e r 1 Classical republicanism [T]here were an exceeding great number of men of the better sort, that had been so educated, as that in their youth having read the books written by famous men of the ancient Grecian and Roman commonwealths concerning their polity and great actions; in which books the popular government was extolled by the glorious name of liberty, and monarchy disgraced by the name of tyranny; they became thereby in love with their forms of government. And out of these men were chosen the greatest part of the House of Commons, or if they were not the greatest part, yet, by advantage of their eloquence, were always able to sway the rest.

Sidney, Discourses, in Sydney on Government (1772) pp. 175, 178–9. Classical republicanism 25 Discourses. 31 This makes more striking across the whole range of republican writing an engagement with Machiavelli which transcended these differences and others. 32 However the study which Machiavellianised classical republicanism was Pocock’s The Machiavellian Moment (1975). 33 By Anglicising the paradigm, Harrington prepared it for a second, transposed (and adapted) life in eighteenth-century England and America.

101 John Hall and 97 98 99 100 101 Sidney [and Jones], A Just and Modest Vindication pp. clxviii–clxix. Milton, Defence, quoted in Scott, England’s Troubles p. 301. Streater, Observations no. 10, pp. 74, 75, 78. Scott, England’s Troubles ch. 13; Scott, ‘Classical Republicanism’; see Part iii below. Marchamont Nedham, The Case of the Commonwealth of England Stated, ed. P. A. , 1969) p. 127; Scott, ‘Classical Republicanism’. 102 The most important source for this position was Machiavelli, the Second Book of whose Discourses had used the words ‘prince’ and ‘tyrant’ interchangeably: [I]t is beyond question that it is only in republics that the common good is looked to properly .

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