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Leveller Organisation and the Dynamic of the English Revolution

Rees, John. 2014. Leveller Organisation and the Dynamic of the English Revolution. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The purpose of this thesis is to establish the extent and effectiveness of Leveller organisation in the English Revolution. The debate among historians of the English Revolution will be examined in order to locate this work in an historical context. The aim of the thesis is to challenge those currents of thought among historians which have sought to argue that the Levellers were of little or no significance in explaining the events of the 1640s.

The pre-existing networks of collective organisation will be examined in order to highlight the degree of political co-ordination among individuals who were to become central to the emergence of the Leveller movement. An analysis of the use of public space, print and petitioning will aim to reveal the nature and reach of organised political activity by the Levellers.

An investigation of the networks of support in the localities of London, the gathered Churches and the New Model Army will demonstrate the levels of support that the Levellers enjoyed. The way in which the opponents of the Levellers sought to suppress the movement will be discussed with a view to assessing the threat to the dominant political forces of the revolution. But, equally, crucial moments of co-operation between the Levellers and their sometime opponents among the political Independents will be assessed as crucial in shaping the eventual outcome of the revolution in its critical year, 1648.

The conclusion of the thesis is that the Levellers developed a unique collective organisation which, while it was only ever a minority current even within the revolutionary camp, was a crucial component of the political bloc which defeated the drive for a Personal Treaty with the King in 1648 and therefore opened the path to the establishment of a Republic.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00010465

Keywords:

Levellers; English Revolution; English Civil War; Radicals; Radicalism; New Model Army

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

History

Date:

2014

Item ID:

10465

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2014 13:38

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2018 14:54

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/10465

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