Introduction
in Order and conflict
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The Puritan Revolution of mid-seventeenth-century England produced an explosion of new and important political thinking. But while due attention has been given to the most famous thinkers, Thomas Hobbes, Sir Robert Filmer and the Levellers, there are other important figures who have been relatively neglected, of whom Anthony Ascham is one. Ascham represents a case in point of the interaction between politics, propaganda and political thought in the context of the English Civil Wars. Ascham, initially designated by the Council of State as 'agent' of the Republic to the Merchant Company of Hamburg, became eventually 'official Agent' to Madrid. The investigation of Ascham's work has been generally linked to the Engagement controversy. Ascham's reputation as a de facto theorist, which undeniably points out some distinctive features of his work, underestimates the complexity of his political thought. This chapter also presents the outline of the book.

Order and conflict

Anthony Ascham and English political thought, 1648–50

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