Sapere aude
‘Commonwealth’ politics under George I, 1714–22
in Republican learning

This chapter discusses the activities of John Toland under George I. After the disastrous electoral defeats of 1710, Toland focused his energies on defending the succession and remaining vigilant against popish tyranny. In 1714 he published The reasons for naturalising the Jews, which advanced one of the most radical defences of social toleration in the eighteenth century. The chapter explains that Toland's defence of toleration was premised not upon the theological credibility of the Jewish religion but upon the nature of civil society. This ambition of establishing a tolerant and rational civic culture was taken even further in Toland's most successful political pamphlet, The State anatomy of Great Britain, and its supplement, The second part of the State anatomy.

Republican learning

John Toland and the crisis of Christian culture, 1696–1722


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