Sovereignty and the Sword: Harrington, Hobbes, and Mixed Government in the English Civil Wars


This book places the political thought of mid-seventeenth-century England within the context of the English civil wars and offers fresh insights into the principles on which two of the great figures of political thought, Thomas Hobbes and James Harrington, constructed their main arguments. Arihiro Fukuda shows Harrington to have been, no less than Hobbes, a theorist of absolute sovereignty. But where Hobbes repudiated the mixed governments of classical antiquity, Harrington was convinced that mixed government, far from being the enemy of absolute sovereignty, was its essential foundation. Fukuda shows how Harrington, in recasting Hobbes's thought, achieved an originality and profundity as striking as his rivals.


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