An Introduction to the History of the Science of Politics

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 74 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1900 Excerpt: ... Ill THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY AND THE SOCIAL CONTRACT The movement in political speculation of which Locke stands at the head was the result not of a pure development of scientific ideas, but of the necessity for having a theory to justify accomplished facts. Locke's Essay on Civil Government is in truth an elaborate apology for the Eevolution of 1688; not ostensibly for its righteousness or policy in the particular circumstances, but for the possibility of such a proceeding being rightful in any circumstances. The partisans of James II. took their stand on a supposed indefeasible right of kings, derived from a supposed divine institution of monarchy. The doctrine of divine right has to modern eyes no sort of merit. It was not rational, it was, not ingenious, it was not even ancient. A certain sanctity had indeed attached to kings from time immemorial. But this belonged to the office, not to the person apart from the office. Because the man had a kind of sacred character while he was king, it by no means followed that being once made king he could not be unmade, or was entitled to retain and exercise the office without conditions. F The notion of the office itself being something above human disposition and jurisdiction had been accepted only in the current century. Still, absurd as it was, it was fortified by a great show of respectable authority. It had taken root in many minds, and become a motive or a stumbling-block in many good men's consciences. The Whigs needed an antidote, and Locke found one in his modified version of the original compact. Hooker had to some extent prepared the way. Long before his time Fortescue, and probably others, had, in a confused fashion, represented the English constitution as in some way founded on the deliberate assent of t...

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