William Godwin: Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Manners

(2105 words)
  • Andrew McCann (Dartmouth College )

The publication of Enquiry Concerning Political Justice in 1793 put William Godwin at center of radical political culture. He had been thinking about this book since 1791, when Thomas Paine published Rights of Man in response to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France(1790). Unlike Paine's text and numerous other responses to Burke's attack on Richard Price and the Revolution Society, Godwin's Political Justice is a work of political-philosophy, rather than a direct contribution to a political controversy. In fact the length of the text and its price (at over £1 it was a comparatively expensive book) seemed to suggest that it would not be as popularly accessible as Rights of Man. It was …

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McCann, Andrew. "Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Modern Morals and Manners". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5358, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism