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Republicanism in the University of Krakow in the Eighteenth Century

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Modern histories of Polish-Lithuanian political thought in the eighteenth century have tended to focus only on the ideas of the nobility of the Republic of the Two Nations and not on the ideas of those outside the nobility, for example the burghers of the towns of Poland-Lithuania. Further, Polish-Lithuanian republicanism has normally been described as lacking an explicit theoretical framework. However, an examination of the ideas being taught in the University of Kraków during this period not only shows at least some of the townspeople of Poland-Lithuania joining the nobility in subscribing to republican ideas of freedom, law and government, but also shows the University's professors -- especially those of law -- setting out a theoretical basis for those republican ideas that the Polish-Lithuanian nobility generally lacked.
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Keywords: Krakow University; Law; Liberty; Poland; Polish burghers; Political philosophy; Republicanism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Magdalen College, Oxford, OX1 4AU, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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