The Enlightenment is an authoritative anthology of the key political writings from 'one of the best and most hopeful episodes in the life of mankind'. The texts are supported by a lucid introduction exploring their moral, philosophical, political and economic background, enabling the student to grasp both the context and the essence of each argument. Biographical notes and carefully selected bibliographies offer further help. The selection includes not only mainstream theories but also texts by authors actively engaged in the politics of the day, offering a broad and genuinely trans-European perspective. David Williams, a distinguished Enlightenment scholar, offers readers a view of the evolution of Enlightenment political thinking in a variety of contexts: natural law, the civil order, the nation state, government, civil rights, women's rights, international relations, economics, crime and punishment, and revolution. Students of political science, history, European studies, international relations, law and philosophy will find this an invaluable resource.