Download e-book for kindle: From Personal Duties Towards Personal Rights: Late Medieval by Arthur P. Monahan

Human Rights

By Arthur P. Monahan

Carrying on with the ancient research started in "Consent, Coercion, and Limit", Arthur Monahan examines Western political notion in the course of the interval c.1300-1600. targeting the recommendations of renowned consent, illustration, restrict, and resistance to tyranny as crucial positive factors of recent theories of parliamentary democracy, Monahan indicates a continuity in use of those suggestions around the alleged divide among the center a while and the Renaissance and Reformation. all the 4 components of the ebook offers with a particular historic occasion or phenomenon that gives a spotlight for the political writings of that interval. half 1 examines the past due medieval northern Italian city-state republics and the humanist depiction in their kind of polity. half 2 experiences the felony (principally canonical) and political proposal in the back of the improvement of a thought of renowned consent and constrained authority hired to unravel the good Schism within the Western church. half three describes 16th-century Spanish neo-scholastic political writings and their software to Reformation Europe and Spanish colonial growth within the New global. This paintings might be of particular curiosity to highbrow historians in addition to historians of political rules and political theories and scholars in historical past, political technological know-how, and non secular stories.

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Example text

23 Like most of the thinkers I shall discuss, Baldus did not engage in political writing as such; his works were entirely juristic in nature but they are nonetheless valuable as political thought. Baldus was interesting in that he was a genuine practitioner of the very law on which he was commenting, and he proved to be an innovator here as well. He frequently served particular city-state constituencies as a legal expert, advisor, and sometimes as a negotiator. His written legal output was prodigious, something in the order of seven million words in all, perhaps the largest body of written text by any medieval jurist.

Firstly, a simple form of republican constitutionalism did develop in these communities in the medieval period even though it did not last long. Secondly, its advocates stressed a conceptual trace element integral to any constitutionalist and democratic theory of polity: popular consent. The history of the medieval northern Italian city-states provides the most graphic illustration of the fact that conscious formulation of political thought usually rests on perceived needs and concrete historical circumstances.

Marsilius's political views were examined briefly in my earlier work, Consent, Coercion, and Limit, pp. 209—29. I have greater reservations now concerning Wilks's interpretation of Marsilius as a closet imperialist and his downplaying of Marsilius's advocacy of city-state republicanism. Marsilius did concede that political authority could be exercised legitimately by a single ruler and clearly sought support from the current emperor, Ludwig of Bavaria; but the details in the Defensor pads show that a city-state was the principal model to which he applied Aristotle's description from the Politics of a Greek city-state.

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