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Lecture 7

POLS 1000 Lecture 7: POLS 1000 - Lecture Week 7

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1000
Martin Breaugh

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October 24, 2018
POLS 1000 Introduction to Politics Lecture Week 7
Review on Last Week
After the fall of Athens, the notions of isonomy and equality will reappear in the western world
during the Renaissance.
o The Renaissance is a historical moment based upon the rediscovery of Athens.
Two city republics Venice & Florence
o Manin will consider the political analysis of these two will allow us to understand what
kind of democracy will appear
o Florence vibrant and tumultuous political life
Conflict-ridden city will also be highly divided by different social classes that
will create a great political antagonism.
Republic spirit behind Florence.
In order to neutralize the offset of these conflicts, Florentines will have to create
mechanisms to allow for conflict to manifest itself and stop conflict from
becoming a civil war.
Mechanisms seen in Athens as well as a new mechanism
Similar to Athens: lot system, rotation of public office holder.
New method: scrutiny
Constitutional debates that occur in Florence, the conclusion was that the
recourse to elections as a way of designating public office holders would lead to
a narrow form of government. Recourse to lottery would allow to a large form of
Florentines understood that there was something about elections that lead to an
Aristocratic effect/consequence.
The best being designated to office and the best in this case are the few.
Because of its use of scrutiny, because of its use to recourse for the lottery
system, Manin concludes that Florence will manage to reactivate the principle of
Equality before the law and equal participation in the law.
o Venice true to its name; The Most Serene Republic of Venice
Its political life will be quiet and peaceful.
Venice will have recourse to elections and these elections will inevitably return
the same people or the same families to public office.
The monopolization of these same people or same families will give Venice a
peaceful political life but it will also not allow Venice to have a fair political life.
Modern Democracy: Representative Government
The major revolutions of modernity, the three major laboratories of the Western World: Great
Britain, USA, and France
o It is within these three countries where the theoretical and practical implementation of
representative government will occur.
What are the historical circumstances that will allow the emergence of representative
o Democracy will not emerge out of nothingness.
English Revolution of 1640, American Revolution 1776, French Revolution 1789
o These are the three historical moments that will contribute to representative government.
When democracy reemerges thanks to these three revolutionary moments, it will not have
recourse in the lot system.

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October 24, 2018
It will choose instead the electoral system, the system that provided a narrow form of government
in Venice and the system that was used to designate a hundred public office holders in Athens.
o Why?
We have to look at the revolutionary origins of representative government.
Each of these historical moments will frame the terms of the debate surrounding
The regime we live in and that affords us liberties and certain kinds of equalities
has its origins in these three evolutionary moments.
All three will put consent at the core of political legitimacy.
For the government to exercise legitimate power it will need the consent of the
English Revolution
The English Revolution is also known as the English Civil War and also the Puritan Revolt.
This revolt will be led by Oliver Cromwell (1599-1688) and it will be the beginning of a civil
war in England.
This Puritan revolt is a complex religious conflict that will pit Catholics vs. Protestants and
Anglicans vs. Puritans.
o Puritan English Calvinists; followers of theologian John Calvin.
These puritans sought to get rid of the Catholic influences that remained in the Church of
England. They wanted to purify that religion from its Catholic origins.
At a political level, the puritan revolt was also driven by a strong disapproval of the Kings’
authoritarian way.
Charles the First; ruled like an absolute monarch
o Absolute monarch; a monarch that does not share power, holds power absolutely.
o In order to rule absolutely, he needed to claim that his power came from God
o The right he had to rule comes from God.
The Divine Right theory of Kingship
According to this divine right theory of kingship meant that he was above the laws. No law
created by a mere mortal could regulate or limit his mere rule.
o His rule was above the common laws.
o This will make him a very unpopular king.
o This will lead to conflict with parliament.
o It is this conflict with parliament and king that leads the way for this puritan revolt to
For the puritans, the problem with this divine right theory of kingship is that it destroys any
appeal to the law.
o Because it destroys and erodes appeals to the law, the divine right theory of kingship
could also erode property rights. It may also erode personal or individual rights.
o This divine right theory of kingship is dangerous for personal rights and property rights.
For the puritans, it was necessary to reduce the scope of the king’s powers by making them less
than absolute.
In the ensuing conflict, king Charles will not be open to compromise.
o Parliament cannot control the army.
o January 1642 - he will infamously jail opposition leaders in parliament or at least attempt
to do so.
1645 Parliament will create its own army and this army will be called the New Model Army
o The new army will be led in part by Cromwell and it will give the revolt the military
force that it needed to defeat the kings’ troops.
The high point of the revolt is the execution of the king.
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