Monarchy and commonwealth
‘Republican’ defences of monarchy at the Restoration
in From Republic to Restoration
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For a short time following the Restoration of the Stuarts in 1660 there were writers who used republican ideas to defend and understand the newly restored monarchy. This chapter explores these ideas. It examines the ways in which the ‘commonwealth’ principles used to defend the republican governments of the Interregnum, and the ideas of James Harrington and his Rota club, could be re-directed in 1660-61 to identify monarch as the best form of a commonwealth. In doing this, these writers were also defending a view of limited as opposed to absolute monarchy. The constellation of ideas explored in the chapter is a reminder of the long-term continuity of the view that England was a ‘commonwealth’, as well as reminding us how the concept of ‘commonwealth’ could have multiple applications.

From Republic to Restoration

Legacies and departures

Editor: Janet Clare

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