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Varieties of parliamentarianism

Foxley, R. (2015) Varieties of parliamentarianism. In: Braddick, M. J. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution. Oxford Handbooks in History. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 414-429. ISBN 9780199695898

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From the start of the English civil war, the parliamentarians were a fragmented coalition, held together by distrust of the king and a belief that Parliament was entitled to lead action to remedy his government’s deficiencies. The driving motivations of parliamentarians were various, including the religious commitments of puritanism, legalistic thought about the ancient constitution, and more radical notions of republicanism or natural rights. Historians have disputed whether parliamentarianism had an inherent strand of radicalism – or radical potential – from the early 1640s, but radicalization certainly took place as the civil wars went on, alongside more ‘conservative’ reactions against the propaganda and wartime measures employed by parliament. Parliamentarian radicalism itself was varied in character, embracing the Levellers’ populism, parliamentary absolutism, and millenarian and providentialist ideas.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Early Modern Research Centre (EMRC)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:46020
Uncontrolled Keywords:Parliamentarianism, puritanism, ancient constitution, republicanism, radicalism, radicalization, Levellers
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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