The Levellers

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  • The Levellers
    • "Most important political development outside Parliament"
    • Main 'pamphleteers' included John Lilburne
      • Not to be confused with a leader
      • Prosecuted in the 1630's for campaigning against Bishops
      • WAS part of the Parliament Army but left in 1645 rather than sign the Covenant - agreement to become Presbyterian
      • Called for free speech and annual Parliaments
    • Radicals in politics were a small minority in 1647
    • Failed (especially in the Putney Debates) because...
      • Levellers had no clear leadership
      • Majority were more interested  in pay and indemnity acts rather than rather than paper constitutions
      • Majority of the army trusted Cromwell rather than Leveler spoksemen
      • Their most dynamic army rep was killed in the second civil war
      • Cromwell put down Leveller mutinies at Corkbush & Burford
    • Leveller Ideas
      • All men naturally free and equal
      • All equal in the sight of good, so should be in society also
      • Electoral system reformed so there would be equal electoral districts
      • All men over 21 to vote
  • Failed (especially in the Putney Debates) because...
    • Levellers had no clear leadership
    • Majority were more interested  in pay and indemnity acts rather than rather than paper constitutions
    • Majority of the army trusted Cromwell rather than Leveler spoksemen
    • Their most dynamic army rep was killed in the second civil war
    • Cromwell put down Leveller mutinies at Corkbush & Burford

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