Government and Society: Essays Presented to Sir John Neale,
ed. S. T. Bindoff et al. (London, 1961).
Bancroft, Dangerous Positions and Proceedings
(London, 1593), pp. 126, 127.
Frere and Douglas, Puritan Manifestoes, Introduction,
p. xiv. Knappen treats Puritan parliamentary tactics as "ordinary"—excluding from this category, however, the appeal to
public opinion (Tudor Puritanism, p. 234). In fact, these
tactics were quite unprecedented—this was apparent to men
like Bancroft and of course to the Queen, as it is today to
conservative historians like J. E. Neale.
Quoted in Irvonwy Morgan, Prince Charles' Puritan
Chaplain (London, 1957), p. 111. For another description
of lobbying, see Thomas Fuller, Church History of Britain
(London, 1845), V, 83.
Neale, Parliaments: 1587-1607, p. 61. See Second Part
of a Register, for copies of the petitions.
Mark Curtis, "The Alienated Intellectuals of Early
Stuart England," Past and Present, no. 23 (November 1962),
especially pp. 27-28. On university life in general, see
William Haller, The Rise of Puritanism (New York, 1957),
ch. ii, and Mark Curtis, Oxford and Cambridge in Transition: 1558-1642 (Oxford, 1959).
Morgan, Prince Charles' Puritan Chaplain (a life of
John Preston), pp. 28-40.
Haller, Rise, pp. 293ff. See Milton's own statement of
his commitment in his Second Defense (1654), Works, VIII,
Thomas Carlyle, ed., Oliver Cromwell's Letters and
Speeches (London, 1893), I, 79-80.
William Perkins, Works (London, 1616), I, 398; quoted
in H. O. Porter, Reformation and Reaction in Tudor Cambridge (Cambridge, Eng., 1958), p. 312.
S. E. Morison, The Founding of Harvard College
(Cambridge, Mass., 1935), appendix B, pp. 359-410.
Shepard, Autobiography (Boston, 1832), pp. 42-43;
quoted in H. W. Schneider, The Puritan Mind (Ann Arbor,
1958), pp. 78-79; on Winthrop see E. S. Morgan, The
Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop (Boston,
1958), p. 40.
Quoted in Perry Miller, Orthodoxy in Massachusetts
1630-1650 (Boston, 1959), p. 100.
Japan's Aristocratic Revolution
Thomas C. Smith
"An aristocracy," Alexis de Tocqueville wrote,
"seldom yields [its privileges] without a protracted
struggle, in the course of which implacable animosities are kindled between the different classes of
society." Despite our democratic partialities, most of
us would add, "And why should it?" To know the
exalted pleasures of power, and the grace of refined
taste with the means of satisfying it; to believe oneself superior on the only evidence that gives conviction—the behavior of others; and to enjoy all this
as birthright, with no vitiating struggle, nor any
doubt that one's privileges are for God, King,
country, and the good of one's fellow man—what
happier human condition, for a few, have men devised ?
Yet, not all aristocracies have behaved as one
fancies they must. Japan's warrior class, a feudal
aristocracy though it differed from European aristocracies in crucial respects, did not merely surrender
its privileges. It abolished them. There was no democratic revolution in Japan because none was necessary : the aristocracy itself was revolutionary.
Consider the bare outlines of the case. Until 1868,
Japan was ruled by a class of knights who alone had
the right to hold public office and bear arms and
whose cultural superiority the rest of the population
acknowledged. A party within this aristocracy of
the sword (and swagger) took power in 1868 and
embarked on a series of extraordinary reforms.
Where there had before been little more than a
league of great nobles, they created an immensely
powerful central government: they abolished all
estate distinctions, doing away with warrior privileges and throwing office open to anyone with the
education and ability to hold it; they instituted a system of compulsory military service, although commoners had previously been forbidden on pain of
death to possess arms; they established a system of
universal public education; and much else. The result was a generation of sweeping and breathless
change such as history had rarely seen until this
century. I believe, though of course I cannot prove,
that these decades brought greater changes to Japan
than did the Great Revolution of 1789 to France.
Why was the Japanese aristocracy—or part of it—
revolutionary ? Why did it abandon the shelter of its
historic privileges for the rigors of free competition, which, incidentally, many warriors did not ____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Political Sociology:A Reader.
Contributors: S. N. Eisenstadt - Editor.
Publisher: Basic Books.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1971.
Page number: 430.
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