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The logic of ideas in Christopher Hill's English revolution

Foxley, R. (2015) The logic of ideas in Christopher Hill's English revolution. Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism, 36 (3). pp. 199-208. ISSN 0144-0357

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01440357.2014.994727

Abstract/Summary

This article examines the role played by ideas and their thinkers in Christopher Hill's histories of the English Revolution. Hill protested against a reductionist economic determinism with no place for the intrinsic power of ideas, but his account of ideas gave them a progressive logic parallel to, if not always easy to link with, that of economic development, and threatened to divorce them from their muddled and imperfect thinkers. This account of the logic of ideas had a striking impact on the way in which the more mainstream radicals of the English Revolution appeared in Hill's work, with both the Levellers and James Harrington being half assimilated to, and half pushed aside in favor of, the more thoroughgoing economic radicals who expressed, in however ragged a way, the intrinsic potential of their ideas. However, Hill's writings also betray a surprising attraction to religious over secular forms of radicalism.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Early Modern Research Centre (EMRC)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:40350
Uncontrolled Keywords:radicalism, Levellers, Diggers, Harrington, Christopher Hill, ideology
Publisher:Routledge

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