Skip to main content

Justice in a World Turned Upside Down: Utopian Visions in the English Civil War and Revolution

Buy Article:

$55.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Gerrard Winstanley and James Harrington, two utopian writers living during the English Commonwealth (1649–1660), offered intriguing interpretations of both distributive and retributive justice. Winstanley's 1652 The Law of Freedom advanced the notion that the English monarchy had for centuries unjustly oppressed the commoners by denying them land, which was their birthright. Seeking a utopia centered on righteousness, Winstanley advocated a commonwealth philosophy of government and the abolition of commerce. Harrington, in his 1656 essay Oceana, proposed a mixed government centered on a bicameral assembly that would cooperate for the good of England. He believed that balance and virtue should be the goals of commonwealth government and that having land in too few hands creates political problems. Both Winstanley and Harrington ascertained that retributive justice in their commonwealth utopias should be based on good laws which help guarantee against political and economic oppression.

Keywords: Distributive Justice; English Commonwealth; Gerrard (Gerard); James Harrington; Oliver Cromwell; Retributive Justice; Winstanley

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10282580500334254

Publication date: 2005-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more