Harrington: 'The Commonwealth of Oceana' and 'A System of Politics'

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 20, 1992 - History - 299 pages
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James Harrington's brief career as a political and historical theorist spans the last years of the Cromwellian Protectorate and the Restoration of 1660. This 1992 volume comprises the first and last of Harrington's writings. Harrington was the first theorist to interpret the English Civil Wars as a revolution, the result of a long-term process of social change which led to the decay of the old political order. The Commonwealth of Oceana (1656) is a fictionalised presentation of English history up to the victory of the New Model Army, explaining the fall of the monarchy and proposing a republic to replace it. A System of Politics, written after the Restoration, is a scheme of history and political philosophy erected on the foundations of his previous works. Professor Pocock's introduction emphasises Harrington's place as a pivotal figure in the history of English political thought. This edition also contains a chronology of events in Harrington's life and a guide to further reading.

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THE Commonwealth OF Oceana
A System of Politics

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About the author (1992)

J. G. A. Pocock was educated at the Universities of Canterbury and Cambridge. He is now Harry C. Black Professor of History Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. His many seminal works on intellectual history include The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law (1957, second edition 1987), Politics, Language and Time (1971), The Machiavellian Moment (1975, second edition 2003), Virtue, Commerce and History (1985), Political Thought and History (2009), and five previous volumes in the Barbarism and Religion sequence, initiated in 1999. He has also edited The Political Works of James Harrington (1977) and Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1987), as well as the collaborative study The Varieties of British Political Thought (1995). A Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Historical Society, Professor Pocock is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of New Zealand Merit in 2002.

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