1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series by Steve Pincus

By Steve Pincus

For 2 hundred years historians have seen England’s excellent Revolution of 1688–1689 as an un-revolutionary revolution—bloodless, consensual, aristocratic, and especially, brilliant. during this incredible 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 eu occasion, that it came about over a couple of years, now not months, and that it had repercussions in India, North the USA, the West Indies, and all through continental Europe. His wealthy historic narrative, according to lots of latest archival examine, lines the transformation of English international coverage, spiritual tradition, and political economic system that, he argues, used to be the meant final result of the revolutionaries of 1688–1689.

James II constructed a modernization software that emphasised centralized regulate, repression of dissidents, and territorial empire. The revolutionaries, in contrast, took benefit of the recent fiscal percentages to create a bureaucratic yet participatory country. The postrevolutionary English kingdom emphasised its ideological holiday with the earlier and estimated itself as carrying on with to adapt. All of this, argues Pincus, makes the wonderful Revolution—not the French Revolution—the first really smooth revolution. This wide-ranging ebook reenvisions the character of the wonderful Revolution and of revolutions usually, the reasons and outcomes of commercialization, the character of liberalism, and eventually the origins and lines of modernity itself.

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Extra resources for 1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-C)

Sample text

Throughout the eighteenth century some Britons, some Europeans, and some North Americans understood the revolution to be a politically, morally, and socially transformative event. That this view, contested as it was throughout the eighteenth century, has disappeared owes little to historical research. Scholars have investigated the nature of James’s rule, not the content and origins of the revolutionary consequences of 1688–89. This oversight derives from Britons’ vision of themselves, since the 1790s, as the opponents of revolutionary change on the Continent and as the targets of anticolonial revolutions elsewhere.

17 Opposition Whigs placed far less emphasis on the restoration of the ancient constitution than they did on the transformation of the moral and practical basis of politics brought about by the revolution. Andrew Kippis was not alone in arguing that the revolution not only halted James II’s infringements on the privileges granted by the ancient constitution but “brought new ones of the utmost value. ” Opposition Whigs and radicals placed less emphasis on formal institutions than on a change of political culture.

The people were hardly involved. The revolution set no new precedent for future political action—it merely reasserted parliamentary sovereignty. The revolution set no model that was followed by others. If anything should be celebrated, it is the recurrent moderation of the British. 40 This was not, however, always the only available interpretation of the Revolution of 1688–89. Throughout the eighteenth century some Britons, some Europeans, and some North Americans understood the revolution to be a politically, morally, and socially transformative event.

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