Marco Barducci
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In Reformed countries, both civil laws made by and oaths of allegiance sworn to lawful authorities were binding in conscience, so that the nature of political choices taken by persons would affect their soul. According to Anthony Ascham, with the king vanquished, former oaths and covenants had lost their validity, so that obedience to the Parliament and Republic was not sinful. When Ascham engaged in the writing of Discourse, on the eve of the Second Civil War, a final agreement between Charles I and Parliament still seemed distant. In the Discourse Ascham remarked that juridical casuistry foresaw a series of circumstances in which it was lawful for the subjects to sever the bound of allegiance with their sovereign. These were the cases in which princes violated the clauses of a bargain made with the subjects both 'explicitly', through a compact, or 'implicitly', by conforming to the customs of the kingdom.

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Order and conflict

Anthony Ascham and English political thought, 1648–50


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