Hobbes, empire and the politics of the cabal : political thought and policymaking in the Restoration
MetadataShow full item record
This article explores a sizable and largely unknown manuscript treatise from the 1670s, “Pax et Obedientia,” which discusses the Civil Wars, trade, the origins of government, toleration, plantations (especially Jamaica), and the royal supremacy, embedding within it a distinctive engagement with Hobbes and a particular vision of imperial composite monarchy. This first analysis of what “Pax” said, who wrote it, and why he did so in the way that he did nuances the present understanding of Restoration debates over a centralizing empire; it reveals the different forms that policy makers thought that empire might take, while also capturing a moment of transition between different meanings of imperium. The anonymous author's engagement with Hobbes further suggests how questions that later fell into the realm of political economy were discussed at the time, using the language of natural jurisprudence. In demonstrating the methodological necessity of utilizing both linguistic and institutional contexts, the authors argue that the apparent incoherence of “Pax” reflects an essential although ineptly executed strategy on the part of its author. Inchoate though the manuscript is, it offers a significant opportunity to understand the intellectual world of junior members of the government and to reconsider the intersection of political thinking and political action.
Rose , J & Ward , M 2023 , ' Hobbes, empire and the politics of the cabal : political thought and policymaking in the Restoration ' , Journal of British Studies , vol. 62 , no. 2 , pp. 333-361 . https://doi.org/10.1017/jbr.2022.173
Journal of British Studies
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.