By R. Prokhovnik

ISBN-10: 0230000908

ISBN-13: 9780230000902

ISBN-10: 1349407631

ISBN-13: 9781349407637

Dutch republicanism represents a crucially very important context during which to debate Spinoza's political concept and his perception of politics. Spinoza and Republicanism presents a massive account of his key political recommendations, in addition to a clean and stimulating standpoint at the hyperlinks among Spinoza's political works and contemporaneous debate and traditions. via determining the uniqueness of Dutch republicanism and Spinoza's contribution to it, Raia Prokhovnik additionally throws new gentle on contemporary discussions of republicanism and its heritage.

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The country was in effect a confederation of cities, so the personality and conduct of the overall ruler was of great significance as the only real source of whatever administrative unity existed. In the eyes of the cities and their provincial States, Philip was not entitled to make decisions, as he boldly began to do, about important political matters such as foreign and financial policies and legal issues nor to levy taxes without the ‘counsel and consent’ of the States. These claims were an important resource of power for the provincial assemblies.

He comments that ‘Philip was not the scourge of Dutch heretics only because he thought it was his duty as a Catholic monarch to protect the Roman-Catholic church’. Philip’s view was informed ‘maybe principally’ by the belief that ‘maintaining religious unity within the empire was a precondition for maintaining the empire itself’ (van Gelderen 1999, 189–90). Phyllis Mack Crew also argues plausibly that the success of the Calvinist preachers, which helped to trigger off the first phase of the Revolt in 1566–67, was not due to their being a disciplined band of fanatics bent on revolution.

However, the Abjuration position established in 1581 did not remain a stable one. William of Orange was assassinated in 1584 and by 1585 the Spanish had reconquered most of Flanders and Brabant following Anjou’s unsuccessful attempt to retake Antwerp. Anjou’s territorial ambitions were out of line with the northern provinces’ aims, and his position had not been strong when groups such as the Walloon nobility refused to back him. Duke argues that the nobles ‘might have been induced to stand by the States General, if an acceptable alternative prince had been in prospect.

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Spinoza and Republicanism by R. Prokhovnik


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