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Title: But the people's creatures : political thought in the first phase of the English revolution, 1642-49
Author: Sanderson, John. B.
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 1977
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This dissertation purports to show that a certain general understanding of politics (called the "ascending" theory) manifested itself widely in England during the fifth decade of the seventeenth century. It was this understanding of politics (according to which it could be said, with the prosecutor of Charles I, that magistrates were "but the people's creatures") which justified the resistance of those who might be called "the men of 1642" to the rule of Charles I, and their use of the theory will (together with the Royalist reaction) be described at length. Subsequently, two more radical versions of the "ascending" theory were to appear, and these threatened to carry many of the men of 1642 further than they wanted to go. The first, embraced by the Levellers, pointed to a much more democratic society than the prominent resisters of 1642 had envisaged, while the second justified that very destruction of the King from the thought of which those resisters had in the first instance recoiled. It will be observed that the regicidal "ascending" theory was by no means wholly compatible with the (Puritan) Saintly ethos, although the two are the salient features of the regicidal literature. The highly original use, by Thomas Hobbes and Dudley Digges, of the "ascending" theory to defend the cause of Charles I will also be noticed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral