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 chiefly, brilliant. during this outstanding 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 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, strains the transformation of English overseas coverage, spiritual tradition, and political economic climate that, he argues, was once the meant final result of the revolutionaries of 1688–1689.
James II built a modernization application that emphasised centralized keep an eye on, repression of dissidents, and territorial empire. The revolutionaries, against this, took good thing about the hot fiscal chances to create a bureaucratic yet participatory kingdom. The postrevolutionary English country emphasised its ideological holiday with the prior and estimated itself as carrying on with to conform. All of this, argues Pincus, makes the fantastic Revolution—not the French Revolution—the first really glossy revolution. This wide-ranging e-book reenvisions the character of the fantastic Revolution and of revolutions commonly, the reasons and results of commercialization, the character of liberalism, and finally the origins and features of modernity itself.
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Extra info for 1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-C)
Struck in 1788, in commemoration of the Revolution of 1688–89, this medal depicts the British lion, with symbols of Catholic domination underfoot. See Laurence Brown, A Catalogue of British Historical Medals, 1760– 1960, Vol. 1: The Accession of George III to the Death of William IV (London: Seaby, 1980), 68. Rethinking Revo lutions 31 typology of revolutions. We now hear of political revolutions, social revolutions, great revolutions, lesser revolutions, Third World revolutions, and twentieth-century revolutions.
In almost every word and Unmaking of a Revolution 25 act may be discerned a profound reverence for the past,” Macaulay wrote, very much echoing Burke. “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.
In the 1730s especially Opposition Whigs emphasized that the revolutionaries had adopted Lockean economic principles. ” The implication, based on “the authority of Mr. Locke,” was a policy of progressive taxation. 23 The Opposition Whigs emphasized the tremendous political economic conse- Unmaking of a Revolution 21 quences of the revolution. ”24 Opposition Whigs, then, developed an interpretation of the revolution that differed dramatically from that offered by the establishment or Walpolian Whigs.