Principles of Government & Politics (Defend the Realm (1450 Commons:…
Principles of Government & Politics
: HT "hath no maner interest, right, title, or colour, as every man knoweth"
problem of depositions
Office of kingship divinely given through blood
Criticise the advisors around him
Idea that councillors should be of royal blood
: Listen to "the trewe blode of the Realme"
: Calls for Act of Resumption & laments failure of the crown to pay its debts
EIV took up the idea of living off his own
: EIV called for an Act of Resumption in the first Parliament after his return in 1471
Parliamentary Acts of Resumption
: "Upon the pore peopull, grete extorcion of their goodes and catalles by the minestres of the kinges householde"
: Links ability to defend the realm with good management of the royal revenues
Greatest harm: necessity to find extreme measures of getting goods
Poverty dampens the honour of the king and makes him insecure in his position
Defend the Realm
: Grant of 13,000 archers "For the internal weal and security of this your said realm and its external defence"
: Emphasised the need for a leader who could restore the monarchy to its historic glory through personal leadership
: King had a duty in his office to defend his realm against their external enemies by the sword and defend his people against internal wrongdoers by justice
: Accused HT of bargaining away the English claim to the French throne, in return for invasion aid
1450 Commons: accused HVI of not maintaining the common weal, relating to severe losses in France
: Called for arrest of the traitors who lost France
Context of the 100 YW/WoR
Strong king desirable
: One of the roots
1460: lords were the "enemyes to the sayde commune wele"
1459: Salisbury & York to HVI
"Oure trewe entent to the prosperyte and augmentacione of youre hyghe estate, and to the commone wele of this reaume, hath be showd vn to youre hyghenesse in suche wrytyng as we made thereof"
1455: "The comones of this londe hated this duk Endmond and loved the duk of York, because he loved the communes and preserved the commune profyte of the londe"
: "Indifferent ministration of Justice, and the public weal" under HVII
: "God knoweth we have evur borne and entende tafore all thinges erthely to the wele of the crowne and thavauncyng of the common weele of Englonde, and for reproving of falshod and oppression of the poore peopull"
: Acting "for the tendre love that we bore unto the commene weal and prosperite of this reaume"
Change in the Model of Kingship?
York: had to abandon claim to work for the common weal & claim throne
: Normal priority of the issue of defending the common weal over the issue of maintaining loyalty & obedience reversed
Obedience = The fundamental basis of the state (not the common weal)
: all men were ambitious & so loyalty primarily to themselves
People would support a rich man as king, as would be less dependent on them
If a man were as rich as the king, he would inevitably want to be king
Spread of covetise among advisors had 2 effects
Corruption of the great men who typically advised the king /nobility edged out by lesser men who could be bribed easier
Broke down the loyalty of the advisors to the king
: Statement of the monopoly of authority to which the king was entitled, and readiness to propose reforms which would aid him to maintain that monopoly
: Model of authority with emphasis on virtuous rule & assumption that the position of each king at the head of the realm was organic & uncontested
Inadequate to meet the challenges of 1450s
Put forward by
King & Subjects
"Noblesse": positive contribution towards the common welfare
Based on Cicero's 'res publica'
Assent of subjects
The Tree of Commonwealth
Commonwealth = tree
Prince = ground out of which the tree grows
"As the subiectes are bounden to ther Prince, so be all kinges bounden to ther subiectes by the commaundyment of god them to maynteigne and supporte as farre as in hym in his power"
Political royal government: government through a king, but with the wisdom and counsel of many
: 2 types of Kingdom
Dominium politicum et regale
Cannot impose on them without their assent
King may not rule his people by any laws other than those which they assent to
Can tax & impose of them as he will, without their assent
King has the ability to rule his people by the laws which he makes himself
: genuineness of individual professions of principle is not the question
Rhetoric does not have to reflect the true feelings of its exponents to be effective
Has to intersect with other rhetoric & schemes of publicly-recognised values
What matters is what principles were chosen and with what effect
Range of available principles = determines the range of available actions
DoY & Common Weal: reaction to claiming the throne
Each political society governed by a matrix of ideas to which all politicians must make reference
"Cambridge School": relationship between ideas, language, & action
: Need to re-integrate the study of political events and relationships with the study of government/ideas about government
Politicians shaped by commonly held principles and accepted practices
Make connections between local and central government
Identify defining characteristics of the politics of the period (compare)
Restore an explanatory framework to political history (increasingly detailed & hard to understand)
: destruction of the Stubbsian "Constitutional History"
Political discourse simply camouflage for more mundane self-interested designs
King living within his means
Defend the realm from enemies
Good governance = maintenance of the common weal