Download e-book for iPad: Absolutism in Seventeenth-Century Europe by John Miller, Graham Scott

By John Miller, Graham Scott

ISBN-10: 0333461142

ISBN-13: 9780333461143

ISBN-10: 1349211214

ISBN-13: 9781349211210

Such a lot 17th Century ecu Monarchs governed territories that have been culturally and institutionally diversified. compelled by way of the escalating scale of struggle to mobilise evermore males and funds they attempted to deliver those territories below nearer regulate, overriding neighborhood and sectional liberties. This was once justified through a conception stressing the monarchs absolute strength and his responsibility to put the nice of his kingdom earlier than specific pursuits. The essays of this quantity examine this technique in states at very various phases of financial and political improvement and examine the nice gulf that regularly existed among the monarchs energy in concept and in perform.

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Even the propaganda was doubleedged. If the crown quoted the view of Justinian that the will of the emperor was law, its opponents would point out that this authority had been accorded to the emperor by a free vote of the Roman citizenry. In the seventeenth-century French debate about the power of monarchy, the most ardent royalists never advocated unbridled sovereign authority. For the writers who used the term absolute monarchy with approval, it was to be the antithesis of tyranny or despotism.

The laws of nature are indeed, according to Hobbes, accessible to human reason: they are in fact, one may say, the precepts or maxims of rational or enlightened self-interest. Their efficacy as binding rules of conduct, however, depends either on their being recognised as one of the ways in which God's will is revealed or, and this is crucial for Hobbes's political theory, on their being promulgated by the sovereign as civil laws. In any case, the restrictive or directive force of natural law is in every instance governed by the more fundamental principle of natural right.

It was central to the notion of 'reason of state' that it should authorise departures, in the interest of political success, from the ordinary rules of human behaviour. Yet nothing could have been further from the minds of most of those who wrote in this vein than to abandon or undermine the authority of those rules. They were well aware that such a subversion of moral principle might seem to be involved in what they advocated and might indeed have been the teaching of 'murderous Machiavel'. That, however (they insisted), was a false, even a diabolical interpretation of true reason of state, which fundamentally respects and upholds the restraints of natural law and religious doctrine even while allowing for the use of desperate remedies for desperate situations.

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Absolutism in Seventeenth-Century Europe by John Miller, Graham Scott


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