Classical Humanism and Republicanism in English Political Thought, 1570-1640

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Early modern England was a monarchy and the Englishman was a subject rather than a citizen. Scholars have assumed that those traditions of political thought which emphasise the citizen's active role exercised no influence in England between the mid sixteenth century and the Civil War in the 1640s. Markku Peltonen challenges that view and argues that early modern Englishmen could characterize their life as one of participation rather than subjection and portray their community as having several distinctively republican features.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Now Markku Peltonen assembles an impressive body of evidence that what he calls 'classical humanism' lived straight through to the outbreak of the Civil War and provides an important context for understanding the arguments put forward by seventeenth-century republicans." Sixteenth Century Journal

"...this book is a well-written and forceful contribution to a very live topic of discussion in current English historiography." History

"...the book's great value for scholars lies in its gathering together of a wealth of material relevant to its topic....Treatments of individual texts are lucid and perceptive. Peltonen has organized a body of evidence which should be taken into account in the ongoing analysis of this crucial period in the history of political thought." John F. McDiardmid, Renaissance Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521496957
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Series: Ideas in Context Series, #36
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Note on text
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: classical humanism and republicanism in England before the Civil War 1
1 Classical humanism restated 18
2 Classical republicanism in the margins of Elizabethan politics 54
3 Civic life and the mixed constitution in Jacobean political thought 119
4 Francis Bacon, Thomas Hedley and the true greatness of Britain 190
5 Thomas Scott: virtue, liberty and the 'mixed Governement' 229
6 The continuity of the humanist tradition in early Caroline England 271
Epilogue 308
Bibliography 313
Index 348
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