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The Machiavellian MomentFlorentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition$
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J. G. A. Pocock

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172231

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172231.001.0001

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The Problem of English Machiavellism

The Problem of English Machiavellism

Modes of Civic Consciousness before the Civil War

(p.333) Chapter X The Problem of English Machiavellism
The Machiavellian Moment

J.G.A. Pocock

Richard Whatmore

Princeton University Press

This chapter investigates how patterns of “Machiavellian” thought became operative in England, and at a later period in colonial and revolutionary America. Moreover, the chapter tackles the problem of England, in which there occurred in that culture nothing like the relatively simple options for vita activa, vivere civile, and the republican modeling of the historical self-image, which were all necessary in order to account for the highly complex conceptual reaarrangements which ensued. Republican and Machiavellian ideas had to become domiciled in an environment dominated by monarchical, legal, and theological concepts apparently in no way disposed to require the definition of England as a polis or the Englishman as a citizen.

Keywords:   English Machiavellianism, civic consciousness, England, America, Civil War, Machiavellian thought, English political order

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