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The Commonwealth men, Commonwealth's men, or Commonwealth Party were highly outspoken British Protestant religious, political, and economic reformers during the early 18th century. They were active in the movement called the Country Party. They promoted republicanism and had a great influence on Republicanism in the United States, but little impact in Britain. Not to be confused with the Commonwealth Men of the middle of the 16th century.

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  • The Commonwealth men, Commonwealth's men, or Commonwealth Party were highly outspoken British Protestant religious, political, and economic reformers during the early 18th century. They were active in the movement called the Country Party. They promoted republicanism and had a great influence on Republicanism in the United States, but little impact in Britain. Not to be confused with the Commonwealth Men of the middle of the 16th century.
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  • The Commonwealth men, Commonwealth's men, or Commonwealth Party were highly outspoken British Protestant religious, political, and economic reformers during the early 18th century. They were active in the movement called the Country Party. They promoted republicanism and had a great influence on Republicanism in the United States, but little impact in Britain. The most noted commonwealthmen were John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, who wrote the seminal work Cato's Letters between 1720 and 1723. Other members include , Henry Brinkelow, Thomas Beccon, Thomas Lever, and John Hales. They condemned corruption and lack of morality in British political life, theorizing that only civic virtue could protect a country from despotism and ruin. Their criticism about enclosure and the general material plight of the poor were particularly notable to early twentieth-century scholars like Richard Tawney who saw in them a valuable though regrettably abortive form of Christian socialism that represented a preferable alternative to the view of Max Weber that Protestantism enabled and sustained the rise of capitalism. On the other hand, it has been argued that the Commonwealth Men "by no means stand against an individualistic or capitalistic spirit, and--despite what [for example, historians JGA Pocock and Gordon Wood] have claimed--are far from espousing classical virtue or the Aristotelian conception of man as zoon politikon [a political animal]." Although nearly all British politicians and thinkers rejected the ideas of the commonwealth men in the eighteenth century, these writers had a powerful effect on British colonial America. It is estimated that half the private libraries in the American Colonies held bound volumes of Cato's Letters on their shelves. Not to be confused with the Commonwealth Men of the middle of the 16th century.
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