In his Preface to the Discourse, Anthony Ascham advised his readers that his argument in support of Parliament's rule differed from the terms of the political debate of the early stages of the Civil Wars. Against those who raised the issue of conscience to refuse loyalty to Parliament's authority, Ascham replied that to obey a magistrate who ensured protection was consistent with natural law and God's will, and therefore did not prejudice the salvation of conscience. Natural law, although distinguished from God's law, was in harmony with it, as God expressly gifted human beings with a natural right of self-preservation. From 1648, Ascham differed from the preceding radical and philo-parliamentarian interpretations of natural law theory, in that he stressed the necessity to obey the present government and, accordingly, to renounce the right of self-defence.
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.
The Puritan Revolution of mid-seventeenth-century England produced an explosion of new and important political thinking. In addition to 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. This book is the first full-scale study of Ascham's political thought. Ascham's works were intended to convince lay Presbyterians and royalists to adhere to the policy of national pacification implemented from 1648 by the Independent 'party' within Parliament. From 1648 to 1650 Ascham's propaganda primarily dealt with the issue of the validity of oaths, and insisted on the reciprocal relation between obedience and protection. The first part of Ascham's Discourse focused on 'what things, and how farre a man may lawfully conform to the power and commands of those who hold a kingdome divided by civill warre'. Ascham adopted a twofold line of argument: in the first, he sought to demonstrate that war was consistent with natural law and scripture. Secondly, not all types of war were consistent with the Christian religion and the natural law of self-preservation, only the defensive war. Ascham's natural law theory, which he drew from Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes and John Selden, had therefore both civil and religious implications. Ascham proposed a synthesis between Grotius and Niccolò Machiavelli, underlining the priority of state order over political participation, and justifying war as a means of accessing power only to confirm the necessity of re-establishing order.
Romans 13 was a key text of Calvinist political theory. Anthony Ascham's use of Romans 13 was intended both to convince Presbyterians about the need to settle the country, and to counterbalance the potentially disruptive implications of the radical Independents' use of natural law theory. Both the Second Demurrer and the author of the Grand Case of Conscience had pointed to the contradiction deriving from Ascham's and Francis Rous's interpretation of Romans 13. Patriarchalist political theory was inherently contrary to natural law theory. However, consistent with his previous attempt to combine a providentialist vision of parliamentary government based on Romans 13 with Grotian natural law, was Ascham's attempt to bring together political patriarchalism and contractualism. The concept of absolute and indivisible sovereignty that Robert Filmer attached to his argument for patriarchal authority and to his criticism of mixed government was drawn from Bodin.
Anthony Ascham was favourable to monarchy, although kings as individuals might not be worthy of the throne. To distance himself from the Machiavellian implications of reason of state, especially those concerning the justification of internal conflict and political change that appealed to his republican allies, Ascham pointed to Hugo Grotius's insistence on the traditional concept of 'equity. Ascham's support of parliamentary 'usurpation' has to be understood in the broader context of the parliamentary uses of the concept of tyranny during the Civil Wars. Charges of tyranny were thrown at Charles I's personal rule in the 1640s, and paved the way for his trial and execution in 1649. Ascham's defence of Parliament's 'usurpation', was also a consequence of his having shifted the focus of attention from the origins to the ends of government, in order to ask for obedience.
Sir Cyril Radcliffe's line allotted 64 per cent of the area of undivided Punjab to Pakistan, with slightly less than 60 per cent of the populace. After Radcliffe's award was published and it became clear that both India and Pakistan were unhappy with it, the language used to describe the decision changed significantly. In early 1948, members of the British Parliament questioned Mountbatten's influence on Radcliffe's award. Mountbatten was a prime mover in the portrayal of Radcliffe as a completely independent figure. Beaumont thought that the irrigation system, particularly as it related to Bikaner, played a central role in Mountbatten's attempts to persuade Radcliffe to change his line in Ferozepur. On 19 March 1948, Mountbatten wrote to Evan Jenkins to say that he had no knowledge of any changes made to the boundary line 'between 8th and 13th August'. The geographical reality of the Radcliffe line remained as murky.
This chapter considers the various proposals submitted to the boundary commission in the weeks before partition. It examines the 'notional' boundary, which was based solely on demographic data from the 1941 census. The chapter analyses the sketch map line, an alternative that, the evidence indicates, Radcliffe considered only days before submitting his award. It discusses the likely repercussions of the Sikh claim, which called for a boundary following the Chenab River in the west. Next is the Congress proposal, which included Lahore and several large salients of central Punjabi territory. In central Punjab, the chapter examines the sketch map line of 8 August, which ran through the middle of the province, with a detour west into Ferozepur. The chapter also considers the Muslim League proposal, which left most of Amritsar district as an Indian enclave surrounded by Pakistani territory and extended several small salients into eastern Punjab.
This book is the first full-length study of the 1947 drawing of the Indo-Pakistani boundary in Punjab. It uses the Radcliffe commission, headed by Sir Cyril Radcliffe , as a window onto the decolonisation and independence of India and Pakistan. Examining the competing interests that influenced the actions of the various major players, the book highlights British efforts to maintain a grip on India even as the decolonisation process spun out of control. It examines the nature of power relationships within the colonial state, with a focus on the often-veiled exertion of British colonial power. With conflict between Hindus , Muslims and Sikhs reaching unprecedented levels in the mid-1940s , British leaders felt compelled to move towards decolonization. The partition was to be perceived as a South Asian undertaking, with British officials acting only as steady and impartial guides. Radcliffe's use of administrative boundaries reinforced the impact of imperial rule. The boundaries that Radcliffe defined turned out to be restless divisions, and in both the 1965 and 1971 wars India and Pakistan battled over their Punjabi border. After the final boundary, known as the 'Radcliffe award', was announced, all sides complained that Radcliffe had not taken the right 'other factors' into account. Radcliffe's loyalty to British interests is key to understanding his work in 1947. Drawing on extensive archival research in India, Pakistan and Britain, combined with innovative use of cartographic sources, the book paints a vivid picture of both the partition process and the Radcliffe line's impact on Punjab.
Sir Cyril Radcliffe's loyalty to British interests is key to understanding his work in 1947. The party leaders, both Congress and Muslim League, fundamentally misunderstood this aspect of Radcliffe's position. Radcliffe endeavoured to divide territory fairly, according to religious demographics, but other factors played a role as well. In attempting to buffer Amritsar and in allowing Mountbatten to persuade him that the Ferozepur salient would cause more trouble than it was worth, he demonstrated a concern for geopolitical matters. In an address to the Pakistani nation at the end of August 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah lamented the fact that the Radcliffe decision 'may not be a judicial but political award'. Jawaharlal Nehru apparently remained convinced of the value of legal experience, although he came to regret the structure of the boundary commission. Nehru recognized that the boundary commission's format had, worked against real South Asian influence, at least in Punjab.
Sir Cyril Radcliffe's reputation as a great legal mind may have been a compelling factor for the nationalist leaders, many of them lawyers themselves, who endorsed his selection for the crucial boundary commission post. Mountbatten made clear to Radcliffe in their early meetings that it was absolutely necessary to have a boundary line drawn before the transfer of power took place. Both Congress and Muslim League leaders perceived Radcliffe as impartial, in large part because he had never been a member of the Indian Civil Service. Radcliffe's Indian experience reinforced, rather than shook, his sympathy for imperialist values and actions. Radcliffe's writings also demonstrate that his time in India strengthened his imperialist leanings. The British Government's later use of Radcliffe showed it to be satisfied with his work in India. Radcliffe played a central role in a violent historical episode of India and Pakistan.