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This article is a study of political conflicts in Yarmouth during the 1620s and 1630s between a group of puritan aldermen and their anti-puritan opponents. These focused firstly on efforts initiated by Bishop Harsnet to remove the stipendiary lecturers supported by the puritans; and secondly on attempts by the anti-puritan aldermen to introduce a less ‘popular’ form of town government by revising Yarmouth's charter. Throughout these conflicts the anti-puritan side were able to secure considerable backing at court, particularly from Charles I, through employing a rhetoric which highlighted the threat to order and authority presented by a combination of puritanism and ‘popularity’. The article shows how strong fears of this threat were at the heart of the Caroline regime, and how the actions which resulted could cause deep local divisions. It also illustrates the ways in which local interest groups and their supporters manoeuvred around the king to achieve their ends.
The reunification of Germany has given a new dimension and intensity to the debate about the historical identity of German political culture. In particular, it has revived the issue of whether the Lutheran heritage was inherently conservative, if not authoritarian, in tendency. This article re-examines the issues in relation to Lutheran political and social thought in the first half of the seventeenth century. The life and writings of the Lutheran pastor and influential popular author Johann Balthasar Schupp (1610–61) are examined in detail. What emerges is something more complex than a simple injunction to obey authority at all costs. While he implicitly rejected the idea of a right to rebel, Schupp placed his faith in the willingness of rulers to assist in a ‘reformation of society’. Rebellion would thus be unnecessary. The article argues that this hope was not unrealistic in the context of the small German territorial state in the early modern period. The traditional view of a politically conservative Lutheranism in this period must therefore be revised.
This article examines religious and political conflict in the Kent boroughs of Dover, Canterbury and Sandwich in the early 1680s. Section II describes the personal, political and religious divisions in Dover which lay behind a local campaign to persuade the crown to force the surrender of the town's charter. Section III charts the growth of concerted anglican opposition to the dissenting group which controlled the corporation of Canterbury. The activities of the dissenting mayor of Sandwich which aggravated political differences within the town are described in section IV. The final part of the article suggests some implications of the three case studies for understanding of English politics in the period. It argues that the government took action against the town charters principally in response to the demands of local loyalists, rather than as part of a policy of centralization. It concludes that anglican royalists within the towns were the principal agitators for, and beneficiaries of, the new charters.
On Gibbon's death his papers contained an incomplete and unpublished essay on the genealogy of the European dynasty of which the British royal family was a branch, entitled The antiquities of the house of Brunswick. This article explains why Gibbon began this work, and why he laid it aside. Beginning by describing the nature and purpose of literature on Hanoverian genealogy in the earlier eighteenth century, and proceeding to relate the content of the Antiquities to the politics of Blackstone and Hume, the article identifies the Antiquities as a distinctively ancien régime defence of British political life and institutions which was elicited from Gibbon by the early months of the French revolution. The abandonment of the Antiquities is then explained as part of Gibbon's shocked response to the deepening gravity of events in France after the September massacres. In the polarized political atmosphere which ensued, the literary finesse of the Antiquities ran the risk of being confused with disaffection. That risk was increased when Gibbon and The decline and fall began to be used by radicals as auxiliaries in their attack on England's ancien régime. The textual history of the Antiquities allows us to perceive the rapidity with which the connotations and ownership of certain political vocabularies in England changed during the early 1790s.
By contrast with those for whom the Wealth of nations marks the origin of economics as an autonomous science, this article argues that Smith's significance lies in his attempt to repossess political economy by restoring its links with the sciences of morals and natural jurisprudence — those concerns which are characteristic of his writings as a moral philosopher. The case proceeds by re-examining two topics derived from these sciences. The first begins with Smith's ungenerous treatment of his mercantile predecessors as a clue to what he believed was distinctive about his own system. Smith was antagonistic to precisely those rationalist, utilitarian and reductive models of behaviour based on self-interest that he is held to have in common with mercantile writers; he was answering rather than joining those who felt it necessary to isolate and legitimate rational economic self-seeking. The second topic turns on Smith's natural jurisprudence: his application of the criteria of natural justice when criticizing mercantile policies and institutions, where the emphasis falls on the negative injunctions of commutative justice rather than the positive ones of distributive justice. The separation of the ethics of the Theory of moral sentiments from the Wealth of nations, therefore, tells us more about Smith's successors than Smith himself.
This is an article highlighting the limitations of Lord Salisbury as foreign secretary in an age when foreign policy was for the first time taking on a truly global character, and yet its practitioners still possessed a rather parochial, almost exclusively European experience, and distrusted ‘experts’. It was of course the late nineteenth-century spread of European imperialism that first called for such global policy making, and thus most of this Europe-dominated world was still for the time being quite susceptible to a Eurocentric approach.
But if any area was the exception it was eastern Asia, in due course to be mainly responsible for decline of Western imperial world hegemony. And in the vanguard of this counter-challenge was to be Japan, a country with which Salisbury personally was to find himself all at sea. By contrast, Ernest Satow, more than any other figure of his time, found the key to Japan, and it is a sign of how poorly general Western understanding of that country has progressed since then that his voluminous diaries and papers sit in the Public Record Office, still largely untouched by researchers.
This article examines the role which education played in church/state relations during the Occupation. It begins with an evaluation of catholic reactions to the defeat and explains why so many church leaders were quick to blame military collapse on the laïcité of the republican educational system. It then investigates the policies which the church wanted to see pursued in regard to schools and assesses how these were received by the Vichy government. Analysis of these issues reveals that Vichy was not as pro-clerical as is sometimes believed. Although initially sympathetic to church requests, by 1942 the regime had become reluctant to introduce any measure that might provoke religious division. At the same time, the article illustrates that French Catholicism was not a monolithic bloc. Arguments over education served only to intensify divisions already present within the church and soon led to catholic disenchantment with the Vichy regime.
The article seeks to establish the reasons why Conservative governments in the 1950s decided not to proceed with legislation to restrict immigration from the Commonwealth in the 1950s. It is thus particularly concerned with the debates about proposals that were put before the Eden cabinet in 1955 and the subsequent postponement of any decision to take action.
The various constraints such as the need to placate opinion in the African and West Indian colonies, a strong desire to present an enlightened view of conservatism at home and abroad and uncertainties about possible reactions which could be exploited by their Labour opponents, are examined. It is argued that these factors outweighed the arguments of senior figures in government urging a speedy response to pressures building up for restrictions within the parliamentary backbenches and in a number of constituencies. The significance of the race riots that took place in Nottingham and the Notting Hill district of London are discussed.
The article concludes that many of the factors which had contributed to a delay in imposing restrictions were seen, at the beginning of the 1960s, to possess less relevance than in the previous decade. This paved the way to the passage of the Commonwealth Immigration Act in 1962 which finally ended unrestricted entry.
A leading historian of the British intelligence community has described the British public archives as ‘laundered’. Christopher Andrew was, of course, referring to the closure, sometimes deceptively, of the official records of the security services. ‘Laundered’ can cover a wide variety of sins and might even give a misleading impression. An understanding of the disposition of the historical records of British intelligence, of the prospects for access to such an archive, and the implications for research in this field, depend on more than knowledge of Whitehall practice or the state of legislation regarding public records. Such understanding depends, in the first instance, on what we mean by ‘intelligence archives’.