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Restoration Political Thought

  • Mark Goldie
Chapter
Part of the Problems in Focus Series book series (PFS)

Abstract

In 1661, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Edward Turnor, likened England after the execution of Charles I to the five-day anarchy permitted among the ancient Persians so that they might appreciate kingly rule. ‘The forms and species of government are various’, he explained, ‘monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical: but the first is certainly the best, as being the nearest to divinity itself’.1 As these remarks suggest, civil war and regicide made a generation of gentlemen more, not less, willing to endorse the doctrines that sovereignty lay in the crown and that rebellion was never justified. It now seemed incontrovertible that the crown’s supremacy was the foundation of the gentry’s own authority. ‘There can be nothing’, wrote Thomas Hobbes, ‘more instructive towards loyalty and justice than will be the memory, while it lasts, of that war’.2

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Bibliography

  1. Several treatises of political theory written or published during the Restoration are available in modern editions. For Filmer, Halifax, Hobbes, Locke, Neville, Newcastle and Sidney, see notes 2, 19, 25, 40, 48, 58 and 66 to Chapter 2. Practically nothing from the works of the Tory mainstream is available, but see R. Eccleshall (ed.), English Conservatism since the Restoration (London, 1990).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© M. Goldie 1997

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  • Mark Goldie

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