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Anthony Ascham and English political thought, 1648–50
Author: Marco Barducci

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.

Eoin Daly and Tom Hickey

 such. Interpretivism and natural law Insofar as it has been accepted that constitutional adjudication requires judges to invoke a background public philosophy, this role was previously occupied by natural-law theory. As briefly explored in Chapter 2, natural-law theory refers Constitutional interpretation 153 to an understanding of rights as deriving from an objective moral order, antecedent to and independent of the ‘positive’ law that is enacted by institutions or established by social practices.31 Clarke describes the version of natural law inspiring Irish jurisprudence as

in The political theory of the Irish Constitution
Marco Barducci

to the relation between obedience and protection by combining arguments drawn from Grotius’s jus belli and natural law theory (that appealed to the Independents), with a vision of God-derived and fatherly authority drawn from Romans 13 and Filmer’s political patriarchalism (that appealed to the Presbyterians). This chapter will focus on the latter two issues separately. ROMANS 13

in Order and conflict
Marco Barducci

facto held power. He therefore did not assert that individuals swallowed up their rights upon entering society, rather that these rights, the most important of which was the right of self-preservation, demanded obedience. From 1648, Ascham therefore differed from the preceding radical and philo-parliamentarian interpretations of natural law theory, in that he stressed the necessity to obey the

in Order and conflict
Abstract only
Marco Barducci

. 70–87. 4 Wallace, Destiny his Choice ; Tuck, Natural Law Theories ; Tuck, Philosophy and Government ; Scott, England’s Troubles ; Scott, Commonwealth Principles ; Scott, ‘The law of war: Grotius, Sidney, Locke and the political theory of

in Order and conflict
Marco Barducci

As hinted in Chapter 2 , during the 1640s opposition to Charles I also drew on natural law theory. Parliamentarians shared the idea that the natural right of self-preservation was better secured through the safeguard of state’s order. 1 However, Presbyterian writers put an emphasis on the people’s consent, regarding it as duty toward God-derived authority, while they

in Order and conflict
Abstract only
Marco Barducci

the Engagement controversy, Ascham’s thought has to be understood by placing it ‘within a broader European argument about the relationship between Christianity and natural right or natural law’. 78 According to Mortimer, Ascham combined parliamentarian/non-Socinian natural law theory with the early 1640s royalist and Socinian claims for absolute obedience. With this purpose Ascham mainly drew on Grotius’s De Jure , a work

in Order and conflict
Giuliana Chamedes

be countries that contained significant non-Christian populations. In other words, the Atlantic could and should be Christianized. In so far as Hoffman was putting forward these theses in the immediate aftermath of the massacre of European Jewry, some of the implications of his positions were eerie indeed. Vitoria was attractive to mid-century American Catholics for a second reason: centuries prior, Vitoria had launched a heartened defence and updating of natural-law theory, presenting this as an answer to the conundrum of how one might create

in The TransAtlantic reconsidered
Eoin Daly and Tom Hickey

identity may have little bearing on the political and social conditions they generate. Yet this view is perhaps too narrow. Political philosophies may not completely determine or explain constitutional content, but they certainly have an influence on constitutional practices and ideas. For instance, there are obvious connections between the thought of Rousseau and Montesquieu and the great constitutional experiments of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.The American revolution and the Constitution that emerged appealed to John Locke’s natural law theory – and

in The political theory of the Irish Constitution
Ian Campbell

Locke all offered different variations on a new, materialist natural law, quite different to the Aristotelian natural law theories still being taught in the universities. Johann Gottfried von Herder’s theory of culture was developed in opposition to that materialist natural law tradition. Second, this chapter will examine the impact of the new Enlightenment science on contemporary understandings of human bodies. Sir William Petty and Carolus Linnaeus grappled with this problem independently of one another, but with comparable approaches and somewhat comparable

in Renaissance humanism and ethnicity before race