The Language of Politics in Seventeenth-Century England

  • Conal Condren

Part of the Studies in Modern History book series (SMH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    1. Conal Condren
      Pages 1-24
  3. Overview of the Political Domain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Conal Condren
      Pages 27-56
    3. Conal Condren
      Pages 57-88
  4. The Vocabulary of Status and Action

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Conal Condren
      Pages 91-114
    3. Conal Condren
      Pages 115-139
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 169-215

About this book


This is a study of the words of political discourse in seventeenth-century England from which we now reconstruct its theories. Taking its starting point in modern theories of language,intellectual history is first reconceptualised. Part 1 presents an overview of the political domain in the seventeenth century arguing that what we see as the political was fugitive and subject to reductionist pressures from better established fields of discourse. Further, there were strong pressures leading towards an indiscriminate and relatively general vocabulary, in turn facilitating the imposition of our anachronistic images of political theory. Part 2 focuses on a sub-set of the political vocabulary, charting the changing relationships between the words subject, citizen, resistance, rebellion, the coinage of rhetorical exchange. The final chapter returns most explicitly to the themes of the introduction, by exploring how the historians own vocabulary can be systematically misleading when taken into the context of seventeenth-century word use.


discourse England history language political theory

Authors and affiliations

  • Conal Condren
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1994
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-23568-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-349-23566-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site