Aristocrats, Plebeians and Revolution in England, 1640-60
The English Civil War is both a pivotal event in British History, and one of its most controversial subjects. The Civil War paved the way for the Industrial Revolution a century later, and so to the society of today. Traditionally the events of 1640 to 1660 - the collapse of government, civil war and revolution - have been attributed to divisions within the ruling class and, as a consequence , historians have mostly confined studies to the nobility and gentry. Yet, what of the role of the vast majority of "ordinary people"? This volume summarizes the key events of the period focusing on both the actions of the ruling class, as well as those of the popular movements and revolts. He challenges the view that the revolution can be explained satisfactorily in terms of discord within the political elites of the time. The author interprets the English Revolution in terms of interactions between the aristorcracy, the "middle sort" and the "people", arguing that the popular movements often had a decisive influence, and that the crucial conflict was probably between people of the middling sort and the aristocrats.
- Hardback | 168 pages
- 139.7 x 228.6 x 19.05mm | 272.15g
- 01 Apr 1996
- PLUTO PRESS
- London, United Kingdom
- bibliography, index
Table of contents
Introduction: the people and the revolution. Part 1 Social structure on the eve of the revolution: the ruling class; the middle sort of people; parish elites; opposition from the middling sort of people. Part 2 Collapse of the government of Charles: popular resistance of 1640; an aristocratic coup d'etat; the people of the Long Parliament 1641. Part 3 The outbreak of the civil war: peasants and landlords; craftsmen and capitalists; overseas merchants and domestic traders; middle sort of people and the aristocracy; end of the aristocratic war. Part 4 The other war. Part 5 Revolution: the revolt of the new model army; counter revolution in London; the agreement of the people; the military coup d'etat of 1648-49; displacement of the ruling class from political power; success and failure of the left. Part 6 Revolution and counter revolution: revolution renewed; popular revolt 1659-60; counter revolution. Part 7 The unfinished revolution.
About Brian Manning
Brian Manning is a noted historian of seventeenth-century Britain. He is the author of 1649: The Crisis of the English Revolution (1992), English People and the English Revolution (1991) and the editor of Politics, Religion and the English Civil War (1973). He is Emeritus Professor (retired) of History, University of Ulster.