The Struggle for Sovereignty: Seventeenth-Century English Political Tracts, vol. 1
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. 1.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
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Table of Contents
- EDITORIAL APPROACH
- THE VOCABULARY OF SOVEREIGNTY
- THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE KING
- THE SOVEREIGNTY OF LAW
- THE SOVEREIGNTY OF PARLIAMENT
- WAR FOOTING
- The Struggle for Sovereignty, Volume I
- Under God and the Law
- Edward Coke, The Second Part of the Reports
- Sir Edward Coke, The Twelfth part of the Reports
- Sovereignty in the King Alone
- William Goodwin, A Sermon
- Roger Maynwaring, Religion and Alegiance
- Peter Heylyn, A Briefe and Moderate Answer
- Battle Joined 1640-1648
- Henry Parker, The Case of Shipmoney
- John Pym, The Speech or Declaration
- Charles I, XIX Propositions Made by Parliament
- Henry Ferne, The Resolving of Conscience
- Sect. i.
- Sect. II.
- Sect. III.
- Sect. IIII.
- Sect. V.
- Sect. VI.
- Sect. VII.
- Charles Herle, A fuller Answer to a Treatise
- An Answer to a Treatise Entituled
- PROP. 3
- Anonymous, Touching the Fundamentall Lawes
- Touching Fundamentall Laws, and the Kings Negative Voice.
- William Ball, Constitutio Liberi Populi
- Uncharted Waters
- John Goodwin, Right and Might Well mett
- Anonymous, The People’s Right Briefly Asserted
- The Peoples Right Briefly Asserted.
- Parliament, A Declaration of the Parliament of England
- Law and Conscience During the Confusions and Revolutions of Government
- Francis Rous, The Lawfulnes of Obeying the Present Government
- The Lawfulnesse of Obeying the Present Government.
- Anonymous, The Grand Case of Conscience Stated
- ROMANES 3.8.
- ROMANES 13.23.
- George Lawson, Conscience Puzzle’d
- Isaac Penington, The Right, Liberty and Safety of the People
- The “After Game”
- Roger L’Estrange, A Plea for Limited Monarchy
- A Plea for Limited Monarchy, as It Was Established in This Nation Before the Late War. In an humble Address to his Excellency, General Monck.
- John Milton, The Readie and easie Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth
- The Readie and Easie Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, c.