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

By Steve Pincus

For 2 hundred years historians have considered England’s excellent Revolution of 1688–1689 as an un-revolutionary revolution—bloodless, consensual, aristocratic, and specially, good. during this incredible 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 historic narrative, in line with lots of latest archival learn, lines the transformation of English international coverage, non secular tradition, and political financial system that, he argues, was once the meant outcome of the revolutionaries of 1688–1689.
James II constructed a modernization software that emphasised centralized regulate, repression of dissidents, and territorial empire. The revolutionaries, against this, took good thing about the hot fiscal probabilities to create a bureaucratic yet participatory country. The postrevolutionary English nation 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 actually smooth revolution. This wide-ranging publication reenvisions the character of the fantastic Revolution and of revolutions generally, the explanations and outcomes of commercialization, the character of liberalism, and finally 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)

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Revolutions do not pit modernizers against defenders of an old regime. Instead revolutions happen when the political nation is convinced of the need for political modernization but there are profound disagreements on the proper course of state innovation. 8 State modernization, as political aim and as political process, is a necessary prerequisite for revolution. The extent and nature of modernizing social movements may encourage state modernization. These social movements may help to shape the nature of the revolutionary process.

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. That transformation must take place through a popular movement, and the transformation must involve a self­consciousness that a new era has begun.

Useful as Huntington’s definition is, it needs to be qualified and amplified. The rapidity of revolutions must be measured in years, not in months. ” Revolutions, too, possess a common ideological element: a self-conscious commitment to epochal change. Revolutionary actors insist that their achievements, or their aspirations, represent a fundamental temporal break from the past. ”2 It was this same conception of a temporal break that prompted the French Jacobins to construct a new calendar in 1793.

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