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Constitutional Royalism and the Search for Settlement, c.1640–1649

Constitutional Royalism and the Search for Settlement, c.1640–1649

Part of Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History

  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521893398

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About the Authors
  • "Constitutional Royalism" is one of the most familiar yet least often examined of all the political labels found in the historiography of the English Revolution. This book fills a gap by investigating the leading Constitutional royalists who rallied to King Charles I in 1642 while consistently urging him to reach an "accommodation" with Parliament. These royalists' early careers reveal that a commitment to the rule of law and a relative lack of "godly" zeal were the characteristic predictors of Constitutional royalism in the Civil War. Such attitudes explain why many of them criticized the policies of the King's personal rule, but also why they joined the King in 1642 and tried to achieve a negotiated settlement thereafter.

    • A full-length study of the men who sided with Charles I in the Civil War but who advised negotiation with Parliament
    • Produces much material on the royalists' role in the peace talks of the 1640s
    •  Sets the royalists' story in the wider context of seventeenth-century English political history and thought
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This pioneering study makes a significant contribution to our understanding of England's resistance to the surge of absolutism and is required reading for all serious scholars of the period." History

    "Smith's book is well written and based on impressive research on primary printed and manuscript sources. Its great value is that it traces the careers of a core group of ten advocates of constitutional Royalism, analyzes their thoughts and actions at length, and looks at their impact on attempts to find negotiated settlements during the 1640s, at the time of the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, and even after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. In skillfully charting an important feature of the middle ground in seventeenth-century political life, which emphasized moderation and continuity with the past, Smith has made a welcome and important contribution." The Historian

    "Political thought is an area in which David L. Smith is particularly strong....His well-planned, elegantly executed book is a pleasure to read." Austin Woolrych, Times Literary Supplement

    "Smith's readers should be...greatful for his longitudinal efforts in reading constitutuinal royalism across two centuries and his close-context reading of it in light of the push for a negotiated settlement....his study ought to re-awaken interest in the sort of constitutional history that so far from being 'sterile' holds the deed to the agora of public affairs:the juncture of politics, institutions, social arangements, and religion." Michael Mendle, Albion

    "Although many of his conclusions will not surprise historians familiar with recent work on the Civil War, Smith provides a much fuller and more precise picture of his subject than any previously available." R. Malcolm Smuts, American Historical Review

    "This book is a valuable contribution to the historiography of seventeenth-century Stuart politics....should serve as a stimulating point of departure for further discussion on the major political trends and ideological continuities of seventeenth-century England." James B. McSwain, Sixteenth Century Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521893398
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    List of abbreviations
    A note on quotations, sources, dates and terminology
    Part I. The Origins of Constitutional Royalism:
    1. Introduction: themes, debates, sources
    2. Context: the early Stuarts and the early Stuart constitution
    3. Early careers of the main exponents
    4. Formation and convergence, 1640–1642
    Part II. Constitutional Royalism in Theory and Practice, 1642–1649:
    5. Chronological outline: negotiations formal and informal
    6. Issues and sticking-points
    7. The theory of Constitutional Royalism
    Part III. Constitutional Royalism in Perspective:
    8. Epilogue: Constitutional Royalism from Regicide to Restoration
    9. Legacy: an ideology vindicated?
    10. Conclusion: assessment and evaluation
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    David L. Smith, University of Cambridge

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