Bentham, Byron, and Greece: Constitutionalism, Nationalism, and Early Liberal Political Thought
Clarendon Press, 1992 - Constitutional history - 332 pages
This book explores the connection between Bentham and Byron forged by the Greek struggle for independence. It focuses on the activities of the London Greek Committee, supposedly founded by disciples of Jeremy Bentham, which mounted the expedition on which Lord Byron ultimately met his death in Greece. Professor Rosen's penetrating study provides a new assessment of British philhellenism, and examines for the first time the relationship between Bentham's theory of constitutional government and the emerging liberalism of the 1820s. It breaks new ground in the history of political ideas and culture in the early nineteenth century. Professor Rosen advances striking new interpretations, based on recently published texts and manuscript sources, of the development of constitutional theory from Locke and Montesquieu, the conflicting strands of liberalism in the 1820s, and the response in Britain to strong claims for national self-determination in the Mediterranean basin. He sets out to distinguish between Bentham's theory and the ideological context against which it is usually interpreted. The result is a contribution as much to current debates over method in the study of political ideas as to the study of the history of political thought itself.
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