Revolutionary Politics and Locke's Two Treatises of Government

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Princeton University Press, 1986 - Philosophy - 613 pages
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Richard Ashcraft offers a new interpretation of the political thought of John Locke by viewing his ideas, especially those in the Two Treatises of Government, in the context of his political activity. Linking the implications of Locke's political theory with his practical politics, Professor Ashcraft focuses on Locke's involvement with the radical Whigs, who challenged the established order in England from the 1670s to the 1690s. An equally important aim of the author is to provide a case study of a revolutionary movement that includes a discussion of its organization, ideology, socio-economic composition, and political activities.

Based upon a detailed examination of manuscripts, diaries, correspondence, and newspapers, Professor Ashcraft presents a wealth of new historical evidence on the political life of Restoration England. This study represents an example of an approach to political theory that stresses the importance of authorial intentions and of the political, social, and economic influences that structure a particular political debate.

  

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Brilliant. Ashcraft has re-created the world of John Locke. Read full review

Contents

The Framework of Political Discussion
17
Ideological Dimensions of Dissent
39
The Development of Lockes Political Thought
75
The Basis of Radical Politics
128
The Formation of Whig Ideology
181
Class Conflict and Electoral Politics
228
From Resistance to Revolution
286
The Language of Conspiracy
338
Exile and Rebellion
406
Keeping the Faith
467
A Radical Manifesto
521
Postscript
590
Index
603
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