By Steve Pincus
For 2 hundred years historians have considered England’s wonderful Revolution of 1688–1689 as an un-revolutionary revolution—bloodless, consensual, aristocratic, and especially, brilliant. during this great 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 came about over a couple of years, no longer months, and that it had repercussions in India, North the USA, the West Indies, and all through continental Europe. His wealthy ancient narrative, in keeping with plenty of recent archival study, lines the transformation of English international coverage, spiritual tradition, and political economic climate that, he argues, used to be the meant outcome of the revolutionaries of 1688–1689.
James II constructed a modernization application that emphasised centralized keep watch over, repression of dissidents, and territorial empire. The revolutionaries, against this, took benefit of the hot monetary probabilities to create a bureaucratic yet participatory nation. The postrevolutionary English nation emphasised its ideological holiday with the previous and predicted itself as carrying on with to adapt. All of this, argues Pincus, makes the wonderful Revolution—not the French Revolution—the first actually glossy revolution. This wide-ranging publication reenvisions the character of the wonderful Revolution and of revolutions regularly, the factors and effects of commercialization, the character of liberalism, and eventually the origins and features of modernity itself.
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Additional resources for 1688: The First Modern Revolution (The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-C)
Frederik III, in the wake of Denmark’s disastrous military defeat by the Swedes in 1657–60, “staged a coup” to ensure that the monarchy would become hereditary in 1660. 13 Despite its victory over Denmark, the Swedish state was also dramatically transformed after 1680. In the Swedish case, in fact, it was not so much defeat and comparative backwardness but anxiety that Sweden did not have the resources to maintain its hard-won status as a great power that provoked the transformation from an elective to an absolute monarchy.
Jack Goldstone, in his widely discussed Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World, has advanced an altogether different thesis. ” The key factor in promoting state breakdown, according to Goldstone, has nothing to do with social or economic modernization. ”9 In Goldstone’s breathtaking analysis, which traverses the early modern world from Europe to East Asia, traditional Malthusian crises, not modernizing economies, promote state breakdown and revolution. The demographic explanation for revolutions and state breakdown relies on an important empirical claim.
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. 4 Scholars draw a bold line between social and political revolutions because they admire some revolutionary outcomes and disdain others.