By Jonathan Scott

ISBN-10: 0521352916

ISBN-13: 9780521352918

This ebook completes the research of the lifestyles and political considered Algernon Sidney (1623-1683), which begun with Algernon Sidney and the English Republic, 1623-1677 (1988). within the strategy it deals a reinterpretation of the most important political difficulty of Charles II's reign, and of its eu and seventeenth-century contexts. Like its predecessor, the booklet spans the disciplines of highbrow and political background. Its dual concentration is the final six years of Sidney's lifestyles, which culminated within the recognized public drama of his trial and execution for treason in 1683, and in his significant political paintings, the Discourses touching on executive, which was once used as facts opposed to him on the trial. This intertwining of occasions and ideas demands an exam of the connection among the sensible and highbrow points of the quandary of 1678-1683 ordinarily.

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2 8 8 . Dorothy Sidney to George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1680) in B. E. Berry, Life and Letters of Rachel Wriothesley, Lady Russell (1819), pp. 1 3 2 - 6 . Sidney, 'Letters to Savile' in Works, p. 2 9 (1679). 75 The notion of a whig party united around 'exclusion' — and of a nation split between proponents and opponents of the measure - must unite Shaftesbury with the courtier Sunderland, who voted for the measure in 1680. 76 It must exclude not only other radicals like John Wildman, and Henry Neville77 but all but two of the 1679 'great Council' (the only exceptions are Shaftesbury and Russell), two-thirds of the Commons, and most of the Lords.

In the later sixteenth and seventeenth century, that meant popery. The crises of Charles I's and Charles IPs reigns were not, therefore, selfconscious struggles for parliamentary supremacy. They were struggles in which, over the century as a whole, the administratively insufficient institution of parliament was pushed to the political forefront by the need to protect protestantism. This need was created by the repeated association of Britain's Stuart monarchs with the Counter-Reformation powers of Europe.

By modern standards might be regarded as a . . party' - such organisations were 'not appropriate to the needs of the seventeenth century'. 70 The problem with this claim is not only that no evidence has been presented to support it. It is that there is much evidence against it. There is for instance Burnet, who lamented that what he called 'the Country Party was broken in pieces; for nothing less would satisfy Shaftesbury than . . exclusion. Halifax would not hear of this, but was as tenacious for a limited power .

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Algernon Sidney and the Restoration Crisis, 1677-1683 by Jonathan Scott


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