The English Levellers

The English Levellers

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The Levellers were a crucial component of a radically democratic movement during the civil wars in seventeenth-century England. This was to be democratic at a time when the very idea of democracy conjured up nothing good; with its suggestion of anarchy and the 'levelling' of distinctions in rank and of property, even the holding of women in common. This collection of thirteen fully annotated Leveller writings, including their famous Agreements of the People, is important as a contribution not only to the understanding of the English civil wars, but also of democratic theory. The editor's introduction sets the Leveller ideas in their context and, together with a chronology, short biographies of the leading figures and a guide to further reading, will be of interest to students of the English civil wars, the history of political thought and the history of democratic ideas.
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"Sharp's collection is an excellant introduction to a fascinating and often overlooked area of political philosophy, and will hopefully lead the reader toward the many other radical texts of the English Civil War." A.V.G, Ethics
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Table of contents

Introduction: the English Levellers, 1645-1649; Chronological table; Bibliographical note; Notes on the texts; Leveller texts: 1. John Lilburne, 'On the 150th page': an untitled broadsheet of August 1645; 2. William Walwyn, Toleration justified and persecution condemned, 29 January 1646; 3. John Lilburne, Postscript to The freeman's freedom vindicated, 16 June 1646; 4. Richard Overton with William Walwyn's collaboration, A remonstrance of many thousand citizens, 7 July 1646; 5. Richard Overton, An arrow against all tyrants, 12 October 1646; 6. William Walwyn, Gold tried in the fire, 4 June 1647; 7. Several hands, An agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right and freedom, 28 October 1647; 8. Members of the New Model Army and civilian Levellers, Extract from the debates at the General Council of the Army, Putney, 29 October 1647; 9. John Lilburne and others, The petition of 11 September 1648; 10. John Lilburne, England's new chains discovered, 26 February 1649; 11. William Walwyn, and on behalf of John Lilburne, Thomas Prince and Richard Overton, A manifestation, 14 April 1649; 12. John Lilburne, William Walwyn, Thomas Prince and Richard Overton, An agreement of the free people of England, 1 May 1649; 13. John Lilburne, The young men's and the apprentices' outcry, 29 August 1649; Select biographies; Index.
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