Jean Jacques Rousseau: The Rediscovery of the Community

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau: The Rediscovery of the Community. Between the writers most characteristic of the French Enlightenment and Jean Jacques Rousseau is fixed a great gulf. Its existence was patent to everyone concerned; its exact nature has never been finally settled. Diderot described it as the vast chasm between heaven and hell and said that … Read more

France: The Decadence of Natural Law

France: The Decadence of Natural Law

France: The Decadence of Natural Law. The Revolution of 1688 and the publication of John Locke’s tracts brought to a close the astonishing half-century creative Political philosophy which accompanied the civil wars in England are followed, as often happens, a period of quiescence or even of stagnation, The need of the moment was that the … Read more

Halifax and John Locke

Halifax and Locke

Halifax and Locke. The final act in the drama of English politics in the seventeenth century came with climactic suddenness in the bloodless Revolution of 1688. The ill-judged efforts of James II to foster Catholicism touched Protestant opinion in England as the stupidities and degradation of Restoration government had not, for this question was settled. … Read more

The Republicans: Harrington, Milton, and Sidney

The Republicans: Harrington, Milton, and Sidney

The republicans: Harrington, Milton, and Sidney. The issue of republican as against monarchical government does not appear to have played an important part at any stage of the Puritan Revolution. The officers of Cromwell’s army were prepared in 1648 to release the king and restore his power, with proper safeguards, after an interval in which … Read more

Radicals and Communists

Radicals and Communists

Radicals and Communists. Hobbes’s political thought belonged essentially to the realm of scholarship or science. Though intended to influence the course of events in favor of the royalists, it had little or no effect of that kind, and as a solvent of traditional loyalties and a presentation of enlightened egoism, it contributed in the long … Read more

The Modernized Theory of Natural Law

The Modernized Theory of Natural Law

The Modernized Theory of Natural Law. The opening decades of the seventeenth century began a gradual process of releasing political philosophy from the association with theology which had been characteristic of its earlier history throughout the Christian era. The release which came in the seventeenth century was made possible by a gradual recession of religious … Read more

Royalist and anti-royalist theories

royalist and anti-royalist theories

Royalist and anti-royalist theories. When Calvin died in 1564 the lines were already drawn for the religious wars which, as Luther had said, were to fill the world with blood. In Germany divisions of territory made, it a struggle between princes, with the result that the fundamental issue of religious liberty need not be pressed. … Read more

The Early Protestant Reformers

the early protestant reformers

The early protestant reformers. The Protestant Reformation mixed political theory with differences of religious belief and with questions of theological dogma more closely than had been the case even in the Middle Ages. There is, however, no simple formula for this relationship. Everywhere political theories were defended with theological arguments and political alliances were made … Read more