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Absolute Monarchy and the Stuart Constitution
Author: Glenn Burgess

ISBN: 9780300217285
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 17 March 2015
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.3
Description:
In this ambitious reinterpretation of the early Stuart period in England, Glenn Burgess contends that the common understanding of seventeenth-century English politics is oversimplified and inaccurate. The long-accepted standard view is that the gradual polarization of Court and Parliament during the reigns of James I and Charles I reflected the split between absolutists (who upheld the divine right of the monarchy to rule) and constitutionalists (who resisted tyranny by insisting the monarch was subject to law) and resulted inevitably in civil war. Yet, Burgess argues, the very terms that have been used to understand the period are misleading: there were almost no genuine absolutist thinkers in England before the Civil War, and the 'constitutionalism' of common lawyers and parliamentarians was a very different notion from current understanding of that term. Burgess turns to the great body of common law that enshrined many of England's liberties and institutions. Examining the political opinions of key figures such as Sir Edward Coke and Sir Francis Bacon, he concludes that the laws of the land represented a civilization no monarchist would have attac...

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