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Legal RepublicanismNational and International Perspectives$
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Samantha Besson and José Luis Martí

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559169.001.1

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

On Republican Constitutionalism in the Age of Commerce: Reflections from the Scottish Enlightenment

On Republican Constitutionalism in the Age of Commerce: Reflections from the Scottish Enlightenment

Chapter:
(p.317) 14 On Republican Constitutionalism in the Age of Commerce: Reflections from the Scottish Enlightenment
Source:
Legal Republicanism
Author(s):

Adam Tomkins (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559169.003.0015

This chapter presents a vision of republican constitutionalism that emanates from the political conflicts of 17th-century England. It explores the tension between the values of republican constitutionalism and those of commercial society by revisiting the work of those who were among the first to identify this tension as a problem for the modern world: namely, the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment. An exploration of the relationship between law, the constitution, government, and commerce was a core concern of the Scots of the Enlightenment. The chapter focuses on the work of John Millar, who wrote about these themes from the perspective of a lawyer: Millar was Regius Professor of Law in the University of Glasgow for forty years (1761-1801) and, among his many legal interests, was an abiding fascination with constitutional law. It is argued that his work and that of his Scottish contemporaries, is deeply revealing both of the complexities and of the pressing vitality of seeking to accommodate republican law and constitutionalism within the fabric of a society that privileges wealth, property, and commerce over the values associated with the participation in public life that self-government apparently requires.

Keywords:   England, liberty, constitutional form, John Millar, republicanism

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