English Democratic Ideas in the Seventeenth Century

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The essay out of which the present work has grown obtained the Thirlwall Prize in 1897. The design of this Essay is to serve both as an illustration of English history in the seventeenth century and as a contribution to the history of political ideas. English political thinking from the Reformation to the opening of the eighteenth century can be divided broadly into what may be called the Monarchical and the Democratic; for even among the more oligarchic systems of thought there is a democratic element. The former has been already adequately portrayed. An attempt is now for the first time made to relate the story of the latter.