Download Defining a British State: Treason and National Identity, by Lisa Steffen PDF

By Lisa Steffen

Explores the formation of the British country and nationwide id from 1603-1820 by way of studying the definitions of sovereignty and allegiance awarded in treason trials. The king's individual remained significant to nationwide id and the country until eventually republican demanding situations compelled prosecutors in treason trials to innovate and redefine sovereign authority.

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Extra info for Defining a British State: Treason and National Identity, 1608–1820

Sample text

As a subject of the King of England, though born in Scotland, he could claim his lands in England. ’61 Calvin’s Case settled that both the Scots and English owed personal and faithful loyalty to the same king. This idea held firm until the 1640s when the tensions surrounding how best to define allegiance and sovereignty flared into heated combat. A variety of political theories – monarchical absolutism, legal absolutism, parliamentary absolutism, mixed monarchy, irresistible constitutionalism, limited monarchy, republicanism – arose in the unstable vacuum created during the Civil War.

102 In addition, he was born in Scotland before his father’s naturalization in England; therefore, he was an alien not subject of England. According to his counselors: no Treason could be without a Breach of Faith and Allegiance due to them against whom it was committed. Now these were two distinct Kingdoms; and though the Allegiance due to the King was the same in both Kingdoms, yet that due to the Kingdoms was distinct; and the actual Administration of the Kingdoms was not in the King when the Duke undertook [to oppose the parliamentary forces in battle].

The idea that treason could be against the state, the body politic, the Crown, and not just the person of the king remained partially concealed under the drama of the impeachment, the trial for high treason, and the attainder. ’ 69 The emphasis on the authority of the law, parliamentary participation in government, and the king’s right under law and traditional rule, meant that Pym could not simply discard the 1352 treason statute. The prosecutors had to construe treason to fit the written law.

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