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The Birth of Territory$
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Stuart Elden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226202563

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226041285.001.0001

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The Extension of the State

The Extension of the State

(p.279) Chapter Nine The Extension of the State
The Birth of Territory

Stuart Elden

University of Chicago Press

This chapter begins with a detailed discussion of some unjustly neglected thinkers of the early seventeenth century whose work was integral to thinking through the political and geographical legacy of the Reformation. These include Richard Hooker, Andreas Knichen, and Johannes Althusius. The next part of the chapter offers a reading of the political and geographical implications of the scientific revolution, with special focus on Descartes, Spinoza and the Newton/Leibniz dispute. Hobbes, Filmer and Locke are then discussed in terms of the relation between politics and land (or at times territory) in their work. The colonial context is particularly crucial to understanding Locke. It suggests that Gottfried Leibniz is the most important political thinker of territory of this period. Leibniz, like Theodor Reinking, Bogislaw Philipp von Chemnitz, and Samuel Pufendorf, is trying to make sense of the fractured political geographies of the Holy Roman Empire, especially in the wake of the Peace of Westphalia. In distinguishing between the majesty of the Emperor and the territorial supremacy of the princes, Leibniz provides a strikingly modern definition.

Keywords:   Peace of Westphalia, Gottfried Leibniz, Andreas Knichen, Johannes Althusius, Samuel Pufendorf, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Robert Filmer, territory, sovereignty

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