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Milton and Legal Reform

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

Alison A. Chapman
University of Alabama at Birmingham


The second half of the seventeenth century was the first great period of legal reform in England’s history. This article situates John Milton in relationship to this contemporary context, arguing that he comments frequently on the need to change England’s laws and displays a finely tuned awareness of some of the major legal debates of his time. This article surveys Milton’s writings about the law and legal education, and it concludes by examining his 1659–60 political pamphlets where he calls for reform of the judicial system and the establishment of local courts.

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Copyright © 2016 Renaissance Society of America

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