Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage - Vol. 2

Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage - Vol. 2

Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage - Vol. 2

Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage - Vol. 2

Synopsis

These volumes offer the first comprehensive study of republicanism as a shared European heritage. Professors Skinner and van Gelderen have assembled an internationally distinguished set of contributors whose studies highlight the richness and diversity of European republican traditions. Volume I looks at anti-monarchism in Europe, humanist theories of citizenship and the constitutional nature of the republic. Volume II is devoted to the study of key republican values --liberty, virtue, politeness and toleration. It also addresses the role of women and relationship between republicanism and the rise of a commercial society.

Excerpt

The following chapters stand in little need of introduction, since they are all the work of recognised experts on the history and theory of European republicanism. A word does need to be said, however, about the editorial decisions we have made in respect of the topics we have chosen to cover and the chronological limits of our coverage.

Chronologically our two volumes focus on the period roughly extending from the mid-sixteenth to the late-eighteenth century. This reflect soursense that the earlier history of republicanism in the Renaissance, and the later fortunes of the movement in the nineteenth century, have both been better served in the exist ingscholarly literature. Inparticular, it is worth noting that several contributors to these present volumes took part in the production of Machiavelli and Republicanism (1990), in which the origins and influence of the Florentine model of the vivere libero were extensively surveyed. The basic decision we made in setting up our more recent network was that the period most in need of further study was the one following the demise of the Renaissance city-republics and preceding the recrudescence of republican theory and practice in the era of the French Revolution.

A word next needs to be said about the specific themes on which we have chosen to concentrate. These reflect our sense of how the values and practices associated with European republicanism can most illuminatingly be made to fit together. We accordingly begin, in Part I of Volume i, with the rejection of monarchy. Whatever else it may have meant to be a republican in early-modern Europe, it meant repudiating the age-old belief that monarchy is necessarily the best form of government. We already find this assumption implicitly questioned in some Huguenot political writings of the French religiouswars, and ween counter afarmore explicit challen geamong the enemies of absolutism in eastern Europe, perhaps above all (as Chapter 3 reveals) in . . .

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