Against Throne and Altar: Machiavelli and Political Theory Under the English Republic

Against Throne and Altar: Machiavelli and Political Theory Under the English Republic

By: Paul Anthony Rahe (author)Paperback

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Modern republicanism - distinguished from its classical counterpart by its commercial character and jealous distrust of those in power, by its use of representative institutions, and by its employment of a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances - owes an immense debt to the republican experiment conducted in England between 1649, when Charles I was executed, and 1660, when Charles II was crowned. Though abortive, this experiment left a legacy in the political science articulated both by its champions, John Milton, Marchamont Nedham, and James Harrington, and by its sometime opponent and ultimate supporter, Thomas Hobbes. This volume examines these four thinkers, situates them with regard to the novel species of republicanism first championed in the early 1500s by Niccolo Machiavelli, and examines the debt that he and they owed the Epicurean tradition in philosophy and the political science crafted by the Arab philosophers Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes.

About Author

Paul A. Rahe holds a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in Litterae Humaniores from University of Oxford, and a Ph.D. in Ancient History from Yale University. He is the author, most recently, of Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Tocqueville on the Modern Prospect (2009) and Montesquieu and the Logic of Liberty: War, Religion, Commerce, Climate, Terrain, Technology, Uneasiness of Mind, the Spirit of Political Vigilance, and the Foundations of the Modern Republic (2009). He has co-edited Montesquieu's Political Science: Essays on the Spirit of Laws and edited Machiavelli's Liberal Republican Legacy, and he has published a host of articles in journals and chapters in edited books. Professor Rahe is the Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in the Western Heritage and Professor of History and Political Science at Hillsdale College.


Prologue: Machiavelli in the English Revolution; Part I. Machiavelli's New Republicanism: 1. Machiavelli's populist turn; 2. The ravages of an ambitious idleness; Part II. Revolutionary Aristotelianism: 3. The classical republicanism of John Milton; 4. The liberation of captive mind; Part III. Machiavellian Republicanism Anglicized: 5. Marchamont Nedham and the regicide republic; 6. Servant of the rump; 7. The good old cause; Part IV. Thomas Hobbes and The New Republicanism: 8. Thomas Hobbes' republican youth; 9. The making of a modern monarchist; 10. The very model of a modern moralist; 11. The Hobbesian Republicanism of James Harrington; Epilogue.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521123952
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 436
  • ID: 9780521123952
  • weight: 590
  • ISBN10: 052112395X

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