Marriage was, in the first half of the seventeenth century, an important metaphor for the special political and religious standing of England, defining the contract between king and kingdom and uniting conceptions of authority in household and polity. Within this theoretical perspective, the liberties of the king's subjects were also associated with their marital rights, and royal tyranny was defined as usurpation of the authority of husbands. With the execution of Charles I, these links would be broken. By the early 1650s, contracts of political government woudl bear little resemblance to marriage, save in the highly contested work of Thomas Hobbes. And though many Restoration radicals would grant subjects' liberties to 'fathers of families', marriage no longer held a special place in any theoretical perspective.

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