James Harrington

(2486 words)

James Harrington developed an agrarian-republican and democratic political theory in his work The Common-wealth of Oceana (1656) which was to prove influential through the eighteenth-century, especially in the United States, and in particular contribute to many of the practical arrangements and ideological assumptions of modern democratic constitutions, notably the separation of executive, legislature and judiciary, and arrangements for secret ballots.


Born in Upton, Northamptonshire, on January 3rd, 1611, James Harrington was the eldest son of Sir Sapcote Harrington of Rand, near Lincoln in Lincolnshire, and Jane, daughter of Sir William Samwell of Upton. The Harrington family was …

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Clark, Robert. "James Harrington". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 August 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1990, accessed 08 July 2015.]