Books By: Malcolm, Joyce Lee

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Struggle for Sovereignty The

The Struggle for Sovereignty: Seventeenth-Century English Political Tracts Edited by Joyce Lee Malcolm

History Political Thought

For much of Europe the seventeenth century was, as it has been termed, an “Age of Absolutism” in which single rulers held tremendous power. Yet the English in the same century succeeded in limiting the power of their monarchs. The English Civil War in midcentury and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 were the culmination of a protracted struggle between kings eager to consolidate and even extend their power and subjects who were eager to identify and defend individual liberties. The source and nature of sovereignty was of course the central issue. Did sovereignty reside solely with the Crown—as claimed theorists of “the divine right”? Or did sovereignty reside in a combination of Crown and Parliament—or perhaps in only the House of Commons—or perhaps, again, in the common law, or even in “the people”?