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›Machiavellisten‹ und ›Monarchomachen‹

Zurück zum Heft: Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte. Band 55
DOI: 10.28937/9783787336692_5
EUR 16,90

Since the late 16th century the notions ›Machiavel(l)ian‹, ›Machiavellism‹ etc. were widely spread for a policy not bound to virtue and religion or only simulating them. ›Monarchomachism‹ was created by W. Barclay in 1600 as a name for those philosophers, e. g. the Huguenot thinkers in France, but also catholics in Scotland and Spain, who placed the king under the power of the people. During the 17th and 18th centuries the two terms stood for the both extremes which all wise policy had to avoid. Some historians see a mutual conditioning between the two positions; monarchomachism as the reaction on machiavelian despotism and machiavelistic authority as reaction on the permanent rebellion of the people. N. H. Gundling seems to be one of the few pleading for a third possibility: a severe sovereign as outlined by Th. Hobbes. Since the end of the 18th century the two terms as a couple became out of usage. As opposed against each other they deliver one of the main questions of modern policy: Who should be the sovereign and holder of the highest power?