08 August 2019

NEWS: Cambridge Core Retrospect on “The Ancient Constitution and the Languages of Political Thought”

(Source: Cambridge Core)

Cambridge Core has a new Retrospect (digital collections of articles from across the archive of The Historical Journal) on the topic of “The Ancient Constitution and the Languages of Political Thought” (English legal history), which contains a list of open access articles.


Abstract: Historians of political thought speak of ‘languages’ of politics. A language provides a lexicon, an available resource for legitimating positions. It is looser than a ‘theory’, because protean, and not predictive of particular doctrines. Some languages attract considerable scholarly attention, while others languish, for all that they were ambient in past cultures. In recent scholarship on early modern European thought, natural law and civic humanism have dominated. Yet prescriptive appeals to national historiographies were equally pervasive. Many European cultures appealed to Tacitean mythologies of a Gothic ur-constitution. The Anglophone variant dwelt on putative Saxon freedoms, the status of the Norman ‘Conquest’, whether feudalism ruptured the Gothic inheritance, and how common law related to ‘reason’, natural law, and divine law. Whigs rooted parliaments in the Saxon witenagemot; though, by the eighteenth century, ‘modern’ Whigs discerned liberty as the fruit of recent socio-economic change. Levellers and Chartists alike talked of liberation from the ‘Norman Yoke’. These themes were explored from the 1940s onwards under the stimulus of Herbert Butterfield; one result was J. G. A. Pocock's classic Ancient constitution and the feudal law (1957).
Retrospect Articles

Catherine Behrens, ‘The Whig theory of the constitution in the reign of Charles II’,[Cambridge Historical Journal], 7 (1941)

J. G. A. Pocock, ‘Robert Brady, 1627-1700: a Cambridge historian of the Restoration’,[Cambridge Historical Journal], 10 (1951)

J. G. A. Pocock, ‘Burke and the ancient constitution: a problem in the history of ideas’, 3 (1960)

Quentin Skinner, ‘History and ideology in the English Revolution’, 8 (1965)

Corinne Comstock Weston, ‘Legal sovereignty in the Brady controversy’, 15 (1972)

H. S. Pawlisch, ‘Sir John Davies, the ancient constitution and the Civil Law’, 23 (1980)

R. B. Seaberg, ‘The Norman Conquest and the common law: the Levellers and the argument from continuity’, 24 (1981)

Robert Willman, ‘Blackstone and the “theoretical perfection” of English law in the reign of Charles II’, 26 (1983)

Martyn Thompson, ‘Significant silences in Locke’s Two treatises of government’, 31 (1987)

Jim Smyth, ‘“Like amphibious animals”: Irish Protestants, ancient Britons, 1691–1707', 36 (1993)

Rachel Foxley, ‘John Lilburne and the citizenship of “free-born Englishmen”’, 47 (2004)

Philip Connell, ‘British identities and the politics of ancient poetry in late eighteenth-century England’, 49 (2006)

Ian Campbell, ‘Aristotelian ancient constitution and anti-Aristotelian sover-eignty in Stuart Ireland’, 53 (2010)

George Owers, ‘Common law jurisprudence and ancient constitutionalismin the radical thought of John Cartwright, Granville Sharp, and Capel Lofft’, 58 (2015)

No comments: