By Mark A. Kishlansky
Parliamentary choice examines the method in which contributors of Parliament have been selected within the interval among the reigns of Elizabeth I and William III. through concentrating on the character of the choice procedure, instead of on its effects, Professor Kishlansky uncovers a basic transformation in assumptions approximately political behaviour within the early sleek interval. till the time of the English Revolution, number of contributors of Parliament used to be a social procedure ruled via obstacle approximately rank and standing, own honor, and neighborhood cohesion. County elites prepared their choices to mirror the realities in their neighborhood social constructions, accounting for the impression of the county peerage and larger gentry. Borough elites used neighborhood consumers, officeholders, and denizens for nominations to their areas. In either county and borough the main of parliamentary choice was once non-competitive selection.
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Extra info for Parliamentary Selection: Social and Political Choice in Early Modern England
Still, the signs of change are unmistakable. They are best revealed in the new attitude toward candidacy. In the past men willingly abandoned their candidacies or never went forward at all if there was any danger that they would not be successful. They were more concerned to avoid the "foil" or the "repulse" than to secure the seat. But beginning in 1640, more and more candidates came to believe that it was more important to secure a seat than to avoid defeat. This was a purely political concern, especially in the 1650s when the lessons of the power of Parliament over men's lives and estates had been fully digested.
122; W. Notestein, H. Simpson, F. Relf, Commons Debates 1621, II, 460. , bundle D/B 3/3 no. 1; V. D. dissertation, Columbia University (1977), p. 217. 24 SELECTIONS AND SOCIAL CHOICE value rapidly diminished when sullied by competition: "For though to be knight of this shire be a thing I much desire and even the highest mark of my ambition> yet I would be loath to purchase it with the loss [of]... "4 After all, sessions were of uncertain duration; and the preparation and pains of travel could be repaid by sudden dissolution, as in 1584 or 1614, or by unanticipated costs, as in the marathon sessions of the 1604 Parliament.
Only contests in which a wide franchise was involved and in which political choices, as distinct from personal or social ones, were at stake would speak to this thesis. But even they would not speak unambiguously. D. dissertation, Columbia University (1977), p. i22ff. Hodges's dissertation is the most sophisticated analysis of patronage and representation in the seventeenth century. Historical Manuscripts Commission Reports, Manuscripts of the Marquis of Salisbury, XVII, 360. York Public Library, Corporation H o u s e Book N o .