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The Agreements of the People, the Levellers, and the Constitutional Crisis of the English Revolution
 
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The Agreements of the People, the Levellers, and the Constitutional Crisis of the English Revolution
Edited by Philip Baker and Elliot Vernon
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
15 Dec 2012
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£63.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230542709
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The Agreements of the People were a series of constitutional schemes written, variously, by Levellers, soldiers of the New Model Army and other citizens for the settlement of 'common right and freedom' in the crisis years of the English Revolution. At the heart of these documents was the idea that a mass subscription campaign – a literal agreement of the entire population – would provide the means to rebuild the post-Civil War English state upon constitutional 'foundations of freedom' that could never be interfered with by future governments. These freedoms included legal equality before the law, freedom of religious conscience and freedom from impressment. This collection of essays, written by prominent scholars in the field, is the first book to explore the various Agreements in their constitutional, political and religious contexts, and examines how contemporaries and historians have interpreted these fascinating proposals for a system of government founded on a written constitution.


Description

The Agreements of the People were a series of constitutional schemes written, variously, by Levellers, soldiers of the New Model Army and other citizens for the settlement of 'common right and freedom' in the crisis years of the English Revolution. At the heart of these documents was the idea that a mass subscription campaign – a literal agreement of the entire population – would provide the means to rebuild the post-Civil War English state upon constitutional 'foundations of freedom' that could never be interfered with by future governments. These freedoms included legal equality before the law, freedom of religious conscience and freedom from impressment. This collection of essays, written by prominent scholars in the field, is the first book to explore the various Agreements in their constitutional, political and religious contexts, and examines how contemporaries and historians have interpreted these fascinating proposals for a system of government founded on a written constitution.


Reviews

Won Book of the Week at the University of Buckingham (7th August 2013)


Contents

Acknowledgements

Notes on Contributors

Abbreviations

Introduction: The History and Historiography of The Agreements of the People; E.Vernon & P.Baker
Oaths, Covenants, Associations and the Origins of the Agreements of the People: The Road To and From Putney; E.Vallance
The People of the Agreements: The Levellers, Civil War Radicalism and Political Participation; J.Peacey
Constitutionalism: Ancient, Modern and Early Modern in the Agreements of the People; D.A.Orr
The Levellers, Decentralisation and the Agreements of the People; P.Baker
Freedom of Conscience and the Agreements of the People; R.Foxley
The New Model Army and the Constitutional Crisis of the Later 1640s; I.Gentles
Drafting the Officers' Agreement of the People: A Reappraisal; F.Henderson
'A Firme and Present Peace; Upon Grounds of Common Right and Freedome': The Debate on the Agreements of the People and the Crisis of the Constitution, 1647-59; E.Vernon
Diggers, True Levellers and the Crisis of the English Revolution; A.Hughes
The Agreements of the People and the Constitutions of the Interregnum Governments; D.L.Smith
Appendix I


Authors

PHILIP BAKER is a Research Assistant at the History of Parliament Trust, London, UK, and Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities Research Institute, University of Buckingham. He is the editor of The Levellers: The Putney Debates (2007) and the author of a number of articles on the Civil War period.
ELLIOT VERNON is a barrister who completed a doctoral thesis in history at Robinson College, University of Cambridge, UK in 1999. He is currently completing a monograph study of London Presbyterianism and researching a biography of the seventeenth century republican activist Sir John Wildman.