British Political Thought in History, Literature and Theory, by David Armitage

By David Armitage

The historical past of British political notion has been the most fertile fields of Anglo-American ancient writing within the final half-century. David Armitage brings jointly an interdisciplinary and foreign group of authors to think about the effect of this scholarship at the examine of early sleek British background, English literature, and political conception. major historians survey the impression of the background of political notion at the 'new' histories of england and eire; eminent literary students supply novel serious equipment aware of literary shape, style, and language; and exclusive political theorists deal with the connection of background and thought in reviews of rights and privateness. the phenomenal examples of severe perform amassed right here will motivate the emergence of unpolluted learn at the historic, severe, and theoretical research of the English-speaking international within the interval round 1500-1800. This quantity celebrates the contribution of the Folger Institute to British stories over a long time.

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There remains the dwindling but probably not vanishing band of political theorists who make use of historically surviving or reconstituted materials À texts, languages, philosophical positions À in pursuit of investigations of their own, by definition not those of the history but of the ‘theorist’. They act in history and should be conscious of doing so; like most actors in history they do not act as historians, but change history by acting upon it in other ways. Since they are aware of history, the investigations of theory they construct will generate histories of their own activity, and will also lead to new reassessments of the history they share with others.

These essays are, in turn, by James Scott Wheeler, Arthur Williamson, Sarah Barber and Conrad Russell in Macinnes and Ohlmeyer 2002. 14 As for the pontoon-builders, I will simply point out that much intellectual history remains breathtakingly blinkered. Look at the extensive literature on monarchical republicanism 1540À1640. 16 In 1649, the English beheaded the King of Britain and Ireland, but only abolished monarchy in England and Ireland. The Scots were told to resume their historic identity as a freestanding monarchy to the North of the English Commonwealth.

16 In 1649, the English beheaded the King of Britain and Ireland, but only abolished monarchy in England and Ireland. The Scots were told to resume their historic identity as a freestanding monarchy to the North of the English Commonwealth. They refused to accept independence and committed themselves to restore the Stuarts to all their kingdoms À but within as perfectly formed a monarchical republic as it was 13 14 15 16 Ohlmeyer 1993; Little 2004. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography also shows the way forward: compare the lives of the following in the ODNB with those in the original late Victorian/Edwardian Dictionary of National Biography: James, 1st Duke of Hamilton (by John Scally), Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll (by Jane Dawson), Alexander Henderson (by John Coffey).

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