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This study of seventeenth-century monarchy suggests that the arguments which were used to attack the potentially absolutist monarchy of Charles I were not all that different from those used against the constitutional monarchy of today. The seventeenth-century arguments were based on the fiction that the person who fulfilled the office could be distinguished from the office itself. Personal morality and behaviour were vital factors in assessing the value of government. From 1646 onwards there developed two parallel strands of thought. Those who believed in government by laws developed a republican response to the crisis of the 1640s. Those who believed that people made laws attacked Charles I rather than the monarchy itself, supported the regicide and subsequently approved of the rule of Cromwell.
David Norbrook, Magdalen College, Oxford
It will enter the crowded historiography on the English Revolution with a bang.