By Jonathan Scott
This ebook completes the research of the existence and political considered Algernon Sidney (1623-1683), which started with Algernon Sidney and the English Republic, 1623-1677 (1988). within the strategy it bargains a reinterpretation of the most important political trouble of Charles II's reign, and of its ecu and seventeenth-century contexts. Like its predecessor, the e-book spans the disciplines of highbrow and political background. Its dual concentration is the final six years of Sidney's lifestyles, which culminated within the recognized public drama of his trial and execution for treason in 1683, and in his significant political paintings, the Discourses pertaining to govt, which used to be used as facts opposed to him on the trial. This intertwining of occasions and ideas demands an exam of the connection among the sensible and highbrow points of the main issue of 1678-1683 ordinarily.
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Additional info for Algernon Sidney and the Restoration Crisis, 1677-1683
254; Acton, b . 2 5 . 394. Furley, T h e Origins and Early Development of the Whig Party', p. 9 0 . David Ogg, England in the Reign of Charles II, 2 vols. (Oxford 1955), vol. II, p. 5 8 9 . See pp. 5 8 , 1 Z - A below. 67 By them he did not mean there were two organised or institutionalised parties, let alone that they developed around the issue of exclusion. He meant to draw rueful attention to a much more complete fragmentation of political life; an illness of the body politic, caused by Stuart misgovernment, for a thinker who continued to seek the Elizabethan and Platonic ideal of organically ordered unity and harmony.
It underlined the continuity of the basic problem — the historical threat. To say that the crisis was about the succession, however, is obviously a different matter. In fact it was about the present terrifying policies of Charles II, seen in the light of those of Charles I. It was about the growth of popery and arbitrary government. The succession then was a problem; even a serious one. But it did not cause a crisis: a breakdown in the normal operations of government. What caused that were the policies of the government themselves.
The same inattention to the matter in hand is (as we will see) characteristic of most of the pamphlet literature of 1677-83. This was surely one reason behind the sensational recent re-dating of the Two Treatises itself from one crisis (1688-9) to another (1678-83). What made the earlier mistake possible was not (as Ashcraft has helped to show), the politically neutral or vague nature of Locke's work. It was our failure to establish the ideological context of the former crisis; its independent identity, separate from the real exclusion crisis of 1688-9.
Algernon Sidney and the Restoration Crisis, 1677-1683 by Jonathan Scott
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