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Liberty against the law: some seventeenth-century controversies.


ISBN 10: 0713991194 / ISBN 13: 9780713991192
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Titel: Liberty against the law: some ...

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included


London: Allen Lane /The Penguin Press, 1996. Cloth. With dustjacket. Hardbound. 8vo. 354 pp. Index. (A very good copy). John Edward Christopher Hill (6 February 1912 - 23 February 2003) was an English Marxist historian and academic, specialising in 17th-century English history. From 1965 to 1978, he was Master of Balliol College, Oxford University. (booknr: 27574). Buchnummer des Verkäufers 27574

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Inhaltsangabe: There seems to be a continuing theme in English literature on the freedom of beggars and highwaymen. Beggars and highwaymen pride themselves on their relative honesty, using a rhetoric of liberty. Robin Hood and his outlaws were "free" in the Greenwood, and stole from the rich to give to the poor. Highwaymen and pirates (or writers about them) used ibertarian rhetoric, and often won the sympathy and hero-worship of crowds at Tyburn. Contracting out of the state and its laws is complemented by religious dissenters contracting out of the state church. Economic changes - the eviction of the peasantry from enclosures - made many essential traditional rights illegal. Freedom was opposed to the discipline of the market and its laws. The author explores these linked themes - both in literature and in historical reality.

Rezension: Christopher Hill, the peerless people's historian of the 17th century, has written a book that challenges the common history of liberty and the birth of liberal politics. While historians from Lord Acton to J. H. Hexter have written histories in which property-holding men figure as the champions of liberal freedom, Professor Hill deftly illustrates the manner in which enclosure laws and claims to property were used to deny the traditional rights of the common folk of 17th-century England. Drawing evidence from popular ballads, plays, and his extensive knowledge of the period's literature, Professor Hill demonstrates that the supposed "dawn" of liberal rights and freedoms brought economic dependence, penal punishment, and the loss of freedom for the rural poor and artisan classes who were being swiftly enveloped in a burgeoning commercial society.

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