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Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern EuropeFrom Machiavelli to Milton$
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Hilary Gatti

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163833

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163833.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern Europe

Hilary Gatti

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter tackles the difficult question of liberty as it was developed in the Western world since the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. Clearly related, in the first instance, to the aftermath of the systematic persecution and massacre of the Jews and the dictatorial regimes that succeeded in coming to power in some of the most civilized and refined cultures of the Western world, a literature has been produced on the liberty that was lost—and only arduously (and not always fully) regained—that is daunting both in its quantity and quality. Alongside this brief discussion of the term “liberty” and all it implies, the chapter turns to another issue which is often brought up alongside debates about liberty—republicanism. This chapter explores some theses on republicanism to form a context based on the historical roots of the liberty discourse.

Keywords:   liberty, republicanism, freedom, Western culture, liberty discourse, long sixteenth century, twentieth century, republican liberty

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