§ 7. THE PHILOSOPHY OF NATURAL AND SOCIAL RIGHT.
441. Thomas More. -- The rise of independent States, the study of the political systems of ancient Greece and Rome, the kindling of a spirit of patriotism within the separate nationalities, both great and small, stimulated the growth of a philosophy of public right, based on a study of man himself The originator of this new conception was an Englishman, BLESSED THOMAS MORE (MORUS, 1480-1535). His sensational work, De Optimo Rei Publicae Statu sive de Nova Insula Utopia, written before the Reformation reached England, was conceived in the spirit of Italian Platonism. It contains two very distinct parts. The first sketches the plan of an ideal State, organized on the lines of Plato's Republic. The second part is of a more practical character, and gives a faithful reflex of the tendencies of the time: it is a plea for the mutual independence of both Church and State, and for a neutral attitude of the State towards the Churches.
The principles suggested in More's work were taken up and expounded more fully and systematically by Hugo Grotius.
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