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|Title: ||Hopeful Politics: The Interregnum Utopias|
|Authors: ||Hayduk, Ulf Christoph|
|Keywords: ||Utopia;Hobbes;Winstanley;Harrington;Leviathan;Oceana;English Interregnum;English Civil War;English Republic|
|Issue Date: ||2005|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney. English|
|Abstract: ||The period of English history between the second Civil War and the Restoration opened up seemingly unlimited possibilities for shaping the country's future. The period likewise witnessed an unprecedented surge of political imagination, a development which is particularly visible in Interregnum utopianism. More than ever before, utopianism orientates itself to a hopeful and expectant reality. It is no longer fictional or contemplative. Its ambitions and fulfilment are political; there is a drive towards active political participation. Utopianism reshapes its former boundaries and reinvents itself as reality utopianism. Considering this new reality-orientated identity, the utopias of the 1650s are especially useful in providing an insight into the political imagination of this period. This thesis studies three reality utopias of the 1650s: Winstanley's The Law of Freedom, Harrington's Oceana and Hobbes's Leviathan. Each work represents a uniquely different utopian vision: Winstanley imagines an agrarian communism, Harrington revives classical republicanism, and Hobbes stresses absolute sovereignty. These three different utopian visions not only illustrate the range of the political imagination; they provide an opportunity to examine different ways to deal with the existing political and social concerns of the Interregnum and different perspectives for ideal solutions. Interregnum utopianism is shaped by the expectations and violence of the English Revolution and accordingly it is characterised by the heightened hopes and fears of its time. Despite substantial differences in the three utopias, the elemental hopes and fears expressed in these works remain similar. The hope for change and a better future is negotiated textually with a fear of anarchy and violence. In the end a compromise between opportunity and security has to be found. It is this compromise that shapes the face of Interregnum utopianism and reflects a major aspect of the post-revolutionary political imagination in England.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright Hayduk, Ulf Christoph;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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