By Steve Pincus
For 2 hundred years historians have seen England’s wonderful Revolution of 1688–1689 as an un-revolutionary revolution—bloodless, consensual, aristocratic, and exceptionally, brilliant. during this fantastic new interpretation Steve Pincus refutes this conventional view.
By increasing the interpretive lens to incorporate a broader geographical and chronological body, Pincus demonstrates that England’s revolution was once a ecu occasion, that it came about over a few years, now not months, and that it had repercussions in India, North the US, the West Indies, and all through continental Europe. His wealthy historic narrative, in response to lots of recent archival learn, lines the transformation of English overseas coverage, non secular tradition, and political economic system that, he argues, was once the meant outcome of the revolutionaries of 1688–1689.
James II built a modernization application that emphasised centralized keep watch over, repression of dissidents, and territorial empire. The revolutionaries, in contrast, took benefit of the recent monetary probabilities to create a bureaucratic yet participatory country. The postrevolutionary English nation emphasised its ideological holiday with the earlier and expected itself as carrying on with to conform. All of this, argues Pincus, makes the fantastic Revolution—not the French Revolution—the first actually smooth revolution. This wide-ranging ebook reenvisions the character of the wonderful Revolution and of revolutions mostly, the reasons and results of commercialization, the character of liberalism, and finally the origins and lines of modernity itself.
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Additional info for 1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-C)
Lechmere was both a prominent lawyer and closely associated with powerful Whig politicians. ” This contract stipulated not 16 Introducto ry only a right in the people but a duty as well. ”12 While the setting and context of Sacheverell’s trial necessarily focused the attention of the Whig managers on questions of resistance and popular sovereignty, some Whigs did make clear as well the religious and political economic consequences of the revolution. ” Not only did the Whigs believe there had been a transformation of religious affairs, they also believed that the events of 1688–89 had ushered in a radical transformation of social policy.
Useful as Huntington’s definition is, it needs to be qualified and amplified. The rapidity of revolutions must be measured in years, not in months. ” Revolutions, too, possess a common ideological element: a self-conscious commitment to epochal change. Revolutionary actors insist that their achievements, or their aspirations, represent a fundamental temporal break from the past. ”2 It was this same conception of a temporal break that prompted the French Jacobins to construct a new calendar in 1793.
The Revolution of 1688–89 was motivated by not a single new idea. James II had been the radical revolutionary; the English people had merely restored normalcy in 1688–89. “The Revolution was made to preserve our ancient indisputable laws and liberties, and that ancient constitution of government which is our only security for law and liberty,” Burke explained. “The very idea of the fabrication of a new government is enough to fill us with disgust and horror. We wished at the period of the Revolution, and do now wish, to derive all we possess as an inheritance from our forefathers.