By Michael Sturza
“Feisty, fearless and fascinating: this book spotlights London’s revolutionary upheavals at the start of Britain’s seventeenth-century Civil War; it shows how London’s revolutionary role has been too often downplayed; and it explains its long-term significance for later generations. Michael Sturza will provoke many debates – and a good thing too!”
— Penelope J. Corfield, Emeritus Prof. London University; Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK); and President of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Nominated for the Deutscher Memorial Prize.
The London Revolution 1640 – 1643: Class Struggles in 17th Century England chronicles England’s history through the revolution in 1641 – 1642, which toppled the feudal political system, and its aftermath. It explores how the growing capitalist economy fundamentally conflicted with decaying feudal society, causing tensions and dislocations that affected all social classes in the early modern period. In contrast with most other works, this book posits that the fundamental driving force of the revolution was the militant Puritan movement supported by the class of petty-bourgeois artisan craftworkers, instead of the moderate gentry in the House of Commons.
The London Revolution 1640 – 1643 further traces the detrimental effects of the political alliance between the free-trade Atlantic merchants and the gentry for the revolution. Despite the conservative and contradictory nature of the English bourgeois revolution, the experience in London is the original source for democratic ideas that were codified in the 1689 Bill of Rights and the U.S. Bill of Rights a century later.
Taken in its entirety, The London Revolution 1640 – 1643 refutes the virulent attacks on Marxist social class analysis spearheaded by revisionist historians who would rather write the concept of revolution out of history.
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