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Tyranny and UsurpationThe New Prince and Lawmaking Violence in Early Modern Drama$
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Doyeeta Majumder

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941688

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941688.001.0001

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Artful construction of the political realm

Artful construction of the political realm

Buchanan and the legitimacy of resistance

Chapter:
(p.70) Chapter Three Artful construction of the political realm
Source:
Tyranny and Usurpation
Author(s):

Doyeeta Majumder

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941688.003.0004

Continuing the discussion of Scottish texts and politics, this chapter focuses on George Buchanan’s Latin play Baptistes (roughly contemporaneous with Ane Satyre) and his later treatise De Iure Regni Apud Scotos, positing that unlike the playwrights and resistance theorists preceding him, Buchanan conceives of the state and its power as a human artefact rather than a product of divine making. This conception of politics not only aligns Buchanan with Machiavellian political thought in significant ways, but also, together with the fact that Scotland witnessed the actual deposition of the legitimate sovereign at the hands of her nobility, enabled him to formulate a defence of resistance that manages to overcome the limitations of traditional Calvinist resistance arguments.

Keywords:   Buchanan, Poiesis, Machiavelli, Neo-latin, De Iure

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