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Full description for The Putney Debates of 1647

  • In the autumn of 1647, soldiers and officers of Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army held discussions near London on the constitution and future of England. Would there be a king and lords, or not? Would suffrage be limited to property holders? Would democratic changes lead to anarchy? Three generations of scholars examine the debates in their multiple contexts: the debates themselves, the nature and history of the text that has come down to us, the army's immediate concerns, the role of Leveller and other democratic ideas, the wider ramifications for politics and gender, and the place of the debates and the Levellers in later historical consciousness. The debates receive here their most sustained and varied scrutiny, resulting in a much richer appreciation of the very words reported to have been spoken by Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, Thomas Rainborough, and the others, during those three tense and exhilarating days.