The Origins of Modern Freedom in the West

Front Cover
Richard W. Davis
Stanford University Press, 1995 - Political Science - 384 pages
Previous volumes in this series have shown how modern freedom - defined with reference to the various liberties and legal guarantees available in differing degrees in contemporary Western societies - emerged most decisively in a modern form in 17th-century England. The present volume looks back in time to address some of the very different ideas, antecedents and realizations of freedom before the modern era. The volume begins with an exploration of the economic and social factors that encouraged the development of freedom in the West, and it then goes on to treat the civil and political liberties that emerged in the ancient world, in medieval Europe, and during the Renaissance and Reformation. Other topics discussed within a loosely chronological framework include the role of the Church, the role of various parliaments and estates, and the role of the common law.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Freedom and the Greeks
35
Freedom and the Medieval Church
64
Medieval Urban Liberty
101
Parliaments and Estates
135
Personal Liberty under the Common Law
178
Liberty in the Renaissance and Reformation
203
Kingship and Resistance
235
Parliaments in the Sixteenth Century
269
Epilogue
313
Abbreviations
323
Index
369
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

R. W. Davis is Professor of History and Director of the Center for the History of Freedom at Washington University, St. Louis.

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