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The Crisis of Legitimation in Bush’s America and Henry IV’s England

  • Daniel T. Kline
Chapter
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Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

When considering political practices across la longue durée, from the medi- eval period to the modern, from the English monarchy to the American presidency, one might consider a number of points of contact: the composition of elites who support those in power and upon whose power their status depends; the activities of political operatives whose efforts insulate those in power from accusation and danger; the motives of the economic oligarchies who most benefit from their candidates’ successes; the cross-generational family and kinship networks that engender power and benefit from those relationships; and many other factors that center upon the persons, structures, and processes of power. However, my point of reference between the medieval and modern periods concerns a defining absence at the center of two political moments and the discursive techniques used to traverse that gap.

Keywords

Fifteenth Century Bush Administration Symbolic Violence Civilian Death Iraq Body Count 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    E.F. Jacob, The Fifteenth Century, 1399–1485 ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969 ), p. 13.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    Paul Strohm, England’s Empty Throne: Usurpation and the Language of Legitimation, 1399–1422 ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998 ), p. 2.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    Quoted in Elisabeth Bumiller, “Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights,” The New York Times, 16 May 2003: Al.Google Scholar
  4. 15.
    Stephen Orgel, The Illusion of Power: Political Theater in the English Renaissance ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975 ), pp. 10–11.Google Scholar
  5. 36.
    See James Simpson, “The Energies of John Lydgate,” in James Simpson, Reform and Cultural Revolution, 1350–1547 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 34–67, for a recent rethinking of Lydgate’s place in literary history and in the context of the early fifteenth century. For example, Simpson’s account of Lydgate’s political functions differs somewhat from Strohm’s in that Simpson calls Lydgate an “official” though not a “propagandistic” poet (p. 65 ).Google Scholar
  6. 37.
    See John Fisher, “A Language Policy for Lancastrian England,” PMLA 107 (1992): 1168–80.Google Scholar
  7. 37.
    See also Malcolm Richardson, “Henry V, the English Chancery, and Chancery English,” Speculum 55 (1980): 726–50.Google Scholar
  8. 63.
    See Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” in Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), p. 280 [278–94]. See also Derrida, Of Grammatology p. 49.Google Scholar
  9. 95.
    Allen J. Frantzen, Bloody Good: Chivalry, Sacrifice, and the Great War ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003 ), p. 19.Google Scholar
  10. 107.
    Pierre Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice, trans. Richard Nice (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990 ), p. 127.Google Scholar
  11. 108.
    William Shakespeare, King Lear, ed. Stephen Greenblatt, Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard, and Katharine Eisaman Maus (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), 1.4.170.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Eileen A. Joy, Myra J. Seaman, Kimberly K. Bell, and Mary K. Ramsey 2007

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  • Daniel T. Kline

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