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The English Republican tradition and eighteenth-century FranceBetween the Ancients and the Moderns$
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Rachel Hammersley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079320

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079320.001.0001

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Parallel revolutions: seventeenth-century England and eighteenth-century France

Parallel revolutions: seventeenth-century England and eighteenth-century France

(p.154) 10 Parallel revolutions: seventeenth-century England and eighteenth-century France
The English Republican tradition and eighteenth-century France

Rachel Hammersley

Manchester University Press

The French revolutionaries may have been keen to suggest that they were creating a completely new era and starting afresh, but they inevitably drew on earlier precedents and ideas both to make sense of the changes taking place around them and to help them to construct workable models for the future. Among the various models and ideas on which they drew, those from across the Channel were particularly important. In the early months of the Revolution, the existing British constitution and the example of the Glorious Revolution were cited, but as events moved on, it was 1640–60 that offered the most obvious precedent. Due to citations of English republican works that had appeared since the beginning of the eighteenth century, the key works and ideas of that tradition were both available and familiar to the French revolutionaries as they set out to recover their own liberty.

Keywords:   French Revolution, British constitution, Glorious Revolution, English republican works, liberty

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