The Levellers

HideShow resource information
Preview of The Levellers

First 400 words of the document:

The emergence of Radicals:
The Levellers and the Diggers
John Lilburn
Lived in London in the 1630's and was prosecuted for his pamphlets in 1638.
Prosecuted by Laud and he was imprisoned and then released in 1641. During the civil
war he fought for the roundheads but left the army in 1644 in protest of the solemn
league and Covenants (when the Scots and Parliament made an alliance). He joined a
Baptist congregation in London (classified as religious radicals) and he attended
meanings of political radicals which took place at a pub called Whalebone tavern. There
he met William Walwyn and Richard Overton who was also a radical pamphleteer. John
was imprisoned a few more times, and then he was involved in organising petitions and
demonstrations in London. He published pamphlets that expressed "agitator" (or
leveller) aims. Lilburn wanted to level human rights but parliament misinterpreted this
as he wanted to level property rights which they could no allow. Lilburn was forced in
exile after a dispute with Arthur Haseling and he returned from exile in 1653 and was
then imprisoned once again as a danger to the state.
The levellers Aims
The levellers were political radicals and they thought that citizens should be given their
own rights; they disliked the monarch and demanded political rights (including
religious toleration) and a range of popular grievances over economic, social and legal
inequality. They wanted reform and a new form of government.
Levellers' manifesto
Key demands How revolutionary?
Power needed to be derived from the Parliament agreed but they believed that
people they were more equal than others
Elected representatives were superior to Parliament was to be sovereign, this was
the monarch very revolutionary because of the divine
right of kings
Fundamental laws which guaranteed VERY RADICAL.
political rights. And NO STATE CHURCH
WHICH WASN'T COMPULSIVE
Seats in parliament based on population Complete opposite of the current strategy
so they would get an representatively which was a radical idea
equal distribution of seats
Conscription was wrong Unlike current strategy
Rule of law The monarch was equal to a common
person
Parliament was to only have one chamber Get rid of the House of Lourdes

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Influence within the New Model Army
There was discontent in the army rank and file because of the lack of being paid. The
army general's council provided a platform for leveller demand.
In the early summer of 1647 Leveller ideas had been concentrated into a demand for
the dissolution of the Long parliament and its replacement by a new assembly, elected
and the leaders of the army were to carry out the tasks set by this new assembly.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

It is unlikely that the levellers ever had widespread support in the army, they did have
some relevance and in the Putney demands they were able to put pressure on the Army
Grandees. Not all soldiers were levellers and not all levellers were soldiers. The extent
of leveller influence in the army was difficult to measure, leveller ideas influenced
ordinary army soldiers, but it didn't mean they counted themselves as levellers.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

The Diggers
Gerrard Winstanley was a supporter of parliament who became more radical after
1643. He was a tailor and not wealthy and in the late 1640's he suffered personal
economic collapse which fuelled is radicalism. The diggers were also called the "true
levellers" because they were a group that occupied public or common land that had
been privatised. The diggers pulled down the hedges of the enclosure and planted their
own crops.…read more

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all resources »