Early Modern Liberalism
Early Modern Liberalism rediscovers an important phase in the development of liberal thought. Despite the fact that 'liberalism' as a term was not applied to political thought or political parties in England until late in the eighteenth century, Annabel Patterson argues that its central ideas were formulated by seventeenth-century English writers in defiance of their society's norms, and then transmitted to the American colonies. The author is particularly concerned with the means and agents of transmission, with those who ensured that the liberal canon would be preserved, expanded, republished and dispersed; for example, the eighteenth-century philanthropist Thomas Hollis, among whose heroes were Milton, Marvell, Locke and Algernon Sidney. Framed by chapters on Hollis and Adams, this book shows what early modern liberals had in common and reopens the transatlantic conversation that began in the seventeenth century.