The Struggle for Sovereignty: Seventeenth-Century English Political Tracts, vol. 2
For much of Europe the seventeenth century was, as it has been termed, an “Age of Absolutism” in which single rulers held tremendous power. Yet the English in the same century succeeded in limiting the power of their monarchs. The English Civil War in midcentury and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 were the culmination of a protracted struggle between kings eager to consolidate and even extend their power and subjects who were eager to identify and defend individual liberties. The source and nature of sovereignty was of course the central issue. Did sovereignty reside solely with the Crown - as claimed theorists of “the divine right” - Or did sovereignty reside in a combination of Crown and Parliament - or perhaps in only the House of Commons - or perhaps, again, in the common law, or even in “the people”. To advance one or another of these views, scholars, statesmen, lawyers, clergy, and unheralded citizens took to their books - and then to their pens. History, law, and scripture were revisited in a quest to discover the proper relationship between ruler and ruled, between government and the governed. Pamphlets abounded as never before. An entire literature of political discourse resulted from this extraordinary outpouring - and vigorous exchange - of views. The results are of a more than merely antiquarian interest. The political tracts of the English peoples in the seventeenth century established enduring principles of governance and of liberty that benefited not only themselves but the founders of the American republic. These writings, by the renowned (Coke, Sidney, Shaftesbury) and the unremembered (“Anonymous”) therefore constitute an enduring contribution to the historical record of the rise of ordered liberty. Volume I of The Struggle for Sovereignty consists of pamphlets written from the reign of James I to the Restoration (1620-1660). Each volume includes an introduction and chronology.
The Struggle for Sovereignty: Seventeenth-Century English Political Tracts, 2 vols, ed. Joyce Lee Malcolm (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999). Vol. 2.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
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Table of Contents
- THE RESTORATION OF KING, CHURCH, AND PARLIAMENT
- SOVEREIGNTY IN THE CROWN
- PARLIAMENT AND THE SUCCESSION TO THE THRONE
- JAMES II AND THE ANCIENT CONSTITUTION
- The Struggle for Sovereignty, Volume II
- Of Parliament
- Henry Vane, The Tryal of Sir Henry Vane
- Memorandums touching my Defence.
- The Valley of Jehoshaphat, considered and opened, by comparing 2. Chron. 20. with Joel 3.
- Earl of Shaftesbury, Two Speeches
- Henry Scobell, Power of the Lords and Commons in Parliament
- Earl of Shaftesbury, Two Seasonable Discourses
- Earl of Shaftesbury, A Letter from a Person of Quality
- Anon, Vox Populi
- Some known Maxims taken out of the Law-Books.
- Secondly, What we find hereof in the Statute-Law.
- The King’s Answer.
- The Conclusion.
- Parliament and the Succession
- Elkanah Settle, The Character of a Popish Successour
- Monarchy can be acquired but Two ways.
- Now Conquest is twofold.
- William Cavendish, Reasons for His Majesties Passing the Bill of Exclusion
- Benjamin Thorogood, His Opinion of the Point of Succession
- Algernon Sidney, The Very Copy of a Paper Delivered to the Sheriffs
- The King’s Inalienable Prerogative
- John Brydall, The Absurdity of that New devised State-Principle
- Anon, The Arraignment of Co-Ordinate-Power
- CHAP.I.: Q.1. What the Parliament is?
- CHAP. II.: Q. 2. Whether the Name of Parliament can properly be given to any Part or Parts of this Body, not being the Whole?
- CHAP. III: Q. 3. What Power the Lords in Parliament have as a Judicial Court of Record, touching particular Suits between the King and a Subject, or between Subject and Subject?
- CHAP. IV.: Q. 4. Whether the House of Commons be any Judicial Court of Record, touching particular Suits between the King and a Subject, or between Subject and Subject?
- CHAP. V.: Q. 5. Whether the House of Commons alone can make any Order or Ordinance to bind any of the Commonalty, but their own Members; or where some Contempt is committed, by breaking the present Priviledges belonging to the Members of that House?
- Anon, The King’s Dispensing Power
- The Introduction.
- SECT. I.: The Dispensing Power Explicated; That It Is a Jewel Inherent in the Imperial CROWN Fully Proved.
- SECT. II.: The Safety of taking a Dispensation Evinced.
- SECT. III.: The King’s Exercise of His Dispensing Power Cannot Hurt Liberty of Conscience.
- Anon, The Clergy’s late Carriage to the King
- Revolution and Allegiance
- Gilbert Burnet, Measures of Submission to the Supream Authority
- John Wildman, Some Remarks upon Government
- The Answer.
- Samuel Masters, The Case of Allegiance in Our Present Circumstances
- Anon, A Friendly Conference Concerning the New Oath of Allegiance
- In the Wake of Revolution
- Zachary Taylor, Obedience and Submission to the Present Government
- William Sherlock, Their Present Majesties Government Proved to be Throughly Settled
- Bartholomew Shower, Reasons for a New Bill of Rights
- Reasons for a New Bill of Rights, c.
- Now for PARTICULARS.