The Last Revolution: 1688 and the Creation of the Modern World
The last successful invasion of England; mobs burning Catholic chapels; one king, James, driven from his palace by night while another, William, rode in at the head of a foreign army; the events of winter 1688 were among the most dramatic in our history. The settlement which followed would place England decisively on the path to freedom, toleration, parliamentary democracy and empire. Few moments have done so much to shape this country as the Glorious Revolution.
But 1688 would change England in other ways as well. This was the time of Isaac Newton's scientific breakthroughs and John Locke's philosophy. The 1690s would see free market ideas emerge, the first stockmarket boom and bust, the end of press censorship and the arrival of religious toleration. Newspapers were opening. London was becoming a mecca for leisure and conspicuous consumption. In decisive ways, the modern world was formed in these turbulent years.
Weaving political drama in with the lives of scientists and revolutionaries, stockjobbers and refugees,The Last Revolutionpaints a vivid canvas of England's last great political struggle, a struggle which often, at the time, seemed far from glorious. Here are the political exiles who plotted against James II, and the financiers who established the City; here are philosophers and gamblers, actors and entrepreneurs and not least, traditionalists defending cherished values against The Moderns.
Closely researched, teeming with dramatic incident and vivid character,The Last Revolutionbrings to life the revolutionary world of the late seventeenth century. It offers timely reminders about religious toleration and the political freedoms on which we depend, and, finally, provides a brilliant insight into the emergence of the dynamic, constantly changing world we inhabit today.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
This is an excellent book well worth owning and reading. The book is divided into two parts; the revolution and revolutionary principles. The first part deals largely with the history behind the revolution, what has become known as the Glorious Revolution of 1688. It is an interesting history, not merely recounting the facts behind the revolution but providing a detailed history of many of the characters involved at the time and contempory comments from this wide range of persons. All of this assists to more clearly understand what happened. Part 2 may possibly have been called the influence of and contempory assessment of the revoltution. The second part is particularly wide ranging covering the origins of the national debt, demise of the power of the king, the rise of deficit financing, the financial system inspired speculative boom and bust, genesis of feminism,(even if the concept does not appear in the index). The discussion of these wide ranging issues remain always within the context of the age and writers of that age, but in so doing, the book throws considerable light on undestanding the same current issues. The book is a well written work of considerable interest in understaning the revolution itself and the change brought about by the events of 1688.