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Machiavelli, Hobbes, and the Formation of a Liberal Republicanism in England


  • Page extent: 296 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.61 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 320.51/0941/09032
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: JA84.G7 S85 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Political science--Great Britain--History--17th century
    • Political science--Great Britain--History--18th century
    • Republicanism--Great Britain--History--17th century
    • Republicanism--Great Britain--History--18th century
    • Liberalism--Great Britain--History--17th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521833615 | ISBN-10: 0521833612)

Certain English writers of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, whom scholars often associate with classical republicanism, were not, in fact, hostile to liberalism. Indeed, these thinkers contributed to a synthesis of liberalism and modern republicanism. As this book argues, Marchamont Nedham, James Harrington, Henry Neville, Algernon Sidney, and John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, the co-authors of a series of editorials entitled Cato's Letters, provide a synthesis that responds to the demands of both republicans and liberals by offering a politically engaged citizenry as well as the protection of individual rights. The book also reinterprets the writings of Machiavelli and Hobbes to show that each contributed in a fundamental way to the formation of this liberal republicanism.

• Challenges the widely accepted notion that liberalism and republicanism are fundamentally opposed • Offers interpretations of Hobbes and Machiavelli, and should be of interest to students of the history of philosophy and ideas • The English authors discussed are generally understood to have greatly influenced American political thinking


Acknowledgments; Introduction; Part I. The Foundations of Liberal Republicanism: 1. Machiavelli's republicanism; 2. Hobbes on peace, the passions and politics; Part II. The Formation of the Synthesis: 3. Marchamont Nedham and the beginnings of a Liberal republicanism; 4. The distinctive modern republicanism of James Harrington; 5. Henry Neville's proposal for a republic under the form of monarchy; 6. Algernon Sidney as anticipator of Locke and secret admirer of Machiavelli; 7. Cato's thought as the reconciliation of Machiavellian republicanism and Lockean liberalism; Conclusion; Works cited; Index.

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