Neostoicism and the Early Modern State

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Overview

Neostoicism was one of the most important intellectual movements of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It started in the Protestant Netherlands during the revolt against Catholic Spain. Very quickly it began to influence both the theory and practice of politics in many parts of Europe. It proved to be particularly useful and appropriate to the early modern militaristic states; for, on the basis of the still generally accepted humanistic values of classical antiquity, it promoted a strong central power in the state, raised above the conflicting doctrines of the theologians. Characteristically, a great part of Neostoic writing was concerned with the nationally organized military institutions of the state. Its aim was the general improvement of social discipline and the education of the citizen to both the exercise and acceptance of bureaucracy, controlled economic life and a large army.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Justus Lipsius and the Netherlands movement: 1. Constantin in publicis malis; 2. The political intent in Neostoic philosophy; 3. The main political work of Lipsius; 4. Political Neostoicism; 5. The military renascence; 6. The European echo; 7. The Netherlands movement in Brandenburg-Prussia; Part II. The Constitutional Development of the Early Modern State: 8. The religious covenant and the social contract; 9. 'Police' and Prudentia civilis in the seventeenth century; 10 From contractual monarchy to constitutionalism; 11. The estates of Germany and the formation of the state; 12. The constitutional situation of monarchy in Germany from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century; 13. Army organization in the German territories from 1500 to 1800; 14. The constitution of the Holy Roman Empire and the European state system 1648–1789; 15. The structure of the absolute state.

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