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

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 primarily, brilliant. during this great 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 used to be a eu occasion, that it came about over a couple of years, no longer months, and that it had repercussions in India, North the USA, the West Indies, and all through continental Europe. His wealthy old narrative, in keeping with lots of recent archival learn, strains the transformation of English international coverage, non secular tradition, and political financial system that, he argues, used to be the meant final result of the revolutionaries of 1688–1689.

James II built a modernization software that emphasised centralized keep watch over, repression of dissidents, and territorial empire. The revolutionaries, against this, took good thing about the hot fiscal percentages to create a bureaucratic yet participatory nation. The postrevolutionary English kingdom 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 really sleek revolution. This wide-ranging booklet reenvisions the character of the wonderful Revolution and of revolutions ordinarily, the reasons and outcomes of commercialization, the character of liberalism, and eventually the origins and features of modernity itself.

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Additional info for 1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History)

Sample text

Revolutions continue to fascinate and amaze because each new revolution seems to raise doubts about the previous generation of sophisticated theorizing. Unfortunately, each new revolution has encouraged scholars to develop ever-more elaborate explanations, with new variables and new sets of possible outcomes. Each new account of revolutions is more complex than the last. Along with new causes have come new distinctions in the (above) Centenary of the Revolution, 1788. Struck in 1788, in commemoration of the Revolution of 1688–89, this medal depicts the British lion, with symbols of Catholic domination underfoot.

R. ”34 The events of 1688–89, in these accounts, were in no sense akin to modern revolutions. The Glorious Revolution was not a social revolution in terms of either its participants or its consequences. ”35 Since those who took part in the events of 1688–89 came from the narrow political elite and had no revolutionary program and no social agenda, they were necessarily not modern revolutionaries. 36 By the late twentieth century, the scholarly debate over the Revolution of 1688–89 was narrow indeed.

Both the English parties agreed in treating with solemn respect the ancient constitutional traditions of the state. ” Indeed Macaulay, in what would become a mantra for future commentators, believed that the events in England in 1688–89 were conceptually distinct from modern revolutions. ”31 Macaulay’s great-nephew George Macaulay Trevelyan reached similar conclusions in his establishment Whig history of the Revolution of 1688–89. While Macaulay wrote in the shadow of Jacobins and their atrocities, Trevelyan picked up his pen in the late 1930s filled with hatred for fascists whom he compared to the French Jacobins.

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