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 exceptionally, good. during this remarkable 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 was once a ecu occasion, that it happened over a couple of years, now not months, and that it had repercussions in India, North the USA, the West Indies, and all through continental Europe. His wealthy ancient narrative, according to plenty of latest archival examine, lines the transformation of English overseas coverage, spiritual tradition, and political financial system that, he argues, was once the meant outcome of the revolutionaries of 1688–1689.
James II constructed a modernization application that emphasised centralized regulate, repression of dissidents, and territorial empire. The revolutionaries, in contrast, took good thing about the hot monetary percentages to create a bureaucratic yet participatory kingdom. The postrevolutionary English kingdom emphasised its ideological holiday with the prior and expected itself as carrying on with to conform. All of this, argues Pincus, makes the wonderful Revolution—not the French Revolution—the first actually sleek revolution. This wide-ranging booklet reenvisions the character of the wonderful Revolution and of revolutions usually, the factors and outcomes of commercialization, the character of liberalism, and eventually the origins and lines 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)
While Walpole and his supporters still ascribed the revolution an important role, it was in the re-establishment of liberty rather than in the initiation of an age of progressive improvement. The revolution did not initiate a process of reform; it ended forever attempts to establish absolutism in Britain. 15 From the 1720s, then, it was the Opposition Whigs who argued that the revolution had dramatically and fundamentally altered not only British politics but British society and culture as well.
But not all revolutions have been about class conflict. Such a narrow definition of revolution would seem to have little social scientific value. Revolutions must involve popular movements; those popular movements need not be class based. Nor is it useful to distinguish between social and political revolutions. Events that “transform state structures but not social structures” are civil wars, rebellions, or coups d’état; they are not revolutions. Revolutions must involve both a transformation of the socioeconomic orientation and of the political structures.
Despite the central role that class struggle plays in some influential accounts of revolutions and the role that class divisions clearly have played in some revolutions, to insist that class struggle is constitutive of revolution is to narrow unnecessarily the field of analysis. 3 Some twentieth-century revolutions, such as the Iranian Revolution, would also appear to be excluded from a definition of revolution that places class struggle at its center. Class conflict may have determined the shape of some revolutionary movements, may have been the outcome of revolutionary transformations, and may have informed the political goals of the revolutionaries and their opponents in some cases.
1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History) by Steve Pincus