By Steve Pincus
For 200 years historians have seen England’s wonderful Revolution of 1688–1689 as an un-revolutionary revolution—bloodless, consensual, aristocratic, and peculiarly, brilliant. during this magnificent 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 eu occasion, that it happened over a couple of years, now not months, and that it had repercussions in India, North the United States, the West Indies, and all through continental Europe. His wealthy ancient narrative, in keeping with plenty of latest archival learn, strains the transformation of English overseas coverage, spiritual tradition, and political economic system that, he argues, was once the meant outcome of the revolutionaries of 1688–1689.
James II built a modernization application that emphasised centralized keep watch over, repression of dissidents, and territorial empire. The revolutionaries, against this, took good thing about the recent fiscal probabilities to create a bureaucratic yet participatory kingdom. The postrevolutionary English nation emphasised its ideological holiday with the previous and anticipated itself as carrying on with to adapt. All of this, argues Pincus, makes the wonderful Revolution—not the French Revolution—the first really smooth revolution. This wide-ranging booklet reenvisions the character of the fantastic Revolution and of revolutions generally, the reasons and results of commercialization, the character of liberalism, and finally the origins and lines of modernity itself.
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Extra info for 1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-C)
I have, for example, tried to interpret James II’s Catholicism in terms of European Catholic debates and tried to understand how the English thought about Europe and the possibilities of extra-European empire. It is because I have adopted Unmaking of a Revolution 29 a radically different method from most scholars that I have come up with very different conclusions about the causes, nature, and consequences of the Revolution of 1688–89. Instead of asking why James II was overthrown in 1688–89—the unacknowledged question for most scholars—I ask why English state and society was transformed in the 1680s and 1690s.
Upon that body and stock of inheritance we have taken care not to inoculate any cyon alien to the nature of the original plant. ” Although Burke could imagine future tinkering with the British constitution, unlike Price he believed that further reformation would never be needed. ”26 Burke’s rhetorically brilliant exposition of the establishment Whig position attracted a last gasp of Opposition Whig scorn. ” But with the French Declaration of War against Great Britain in February 1793, it had become unpatriotic to imagine that Britain had provided the model for French political developments.
Revolution,” Huntington declares, “is characteristic of modernization. ” Although Huntington distinguishes between a Western and an Eastern pattern of revolution, in both cases, as Charles Tilly perceptively points out, “the immediate cause of revolution is supposed to be the discrepancy between the performance of the regime and the demands being made upon it. . ”5 The class struggle explanation for revolution differs from the classic modernization story in two fundamental ways. Whereas the classic modernization story focuses on Rethinking Revo lutions 33 a generalized transition from a traditional to a modern society, the class struggle model highlights the transition from one mode of economic production to another.
1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-C) by Steve Pincus