England on Edge: Crisis and Revolution 1640-1642
England on Edge deals with the collapse of the government of Charles I, the disintegration of the Church of England, and the accompanying cultural panic that led to civil war. Focused on the years 1640 to 1642, it examines stresses and fractures in social, political, and religious culture, and the emergence of an unrestrained popular press. Hundreds of people not normally seen in historical surveys make appearances here, in a drama much larger than the struggle of king andparliament. Historians commonly assert that royalists and parliamentarians parted company over issues of principle, constitutional scruples, and religious belief, but a more complex picture emerges from the environment of anxiety, mistrust, and fear.Rather than seeing England's revolutionary transformation as a product of the civil war, as has been common among historians, David Cressy finds the world turned upside down in the two years preceding the outbreak of hostilities. The humbling of Charles I, the erosion of the royal prerogative, and the rise of an executive parliament were central features of the revolutionary drama of 1640-1642. The collapse of the Laudian ascendancy, the splintering of the established church, the rise ofradical sectarianism, and the emergence of an Anglican resistance all took place in these two years before the beginnings of bloodshed. The world of public discourse became rapidly energized and expanded, in counterpoint with an exuberantly unfettered press and a deeply traumatized state.These linked processes, and the disruptive contradictions within them, made this a time of shaking and of prayer. England's elite encountered multiple transgressions, some more imagined than real, involving lay encroachments on the domain of the clergy, lowly intrusions into matters of state, the city clashing with the court, the street with institutions of government, and women undermining the territories of men. The simultaneity, concatenation, and cumulative, compounding effect of thesedisturbances added to their ferocious intensity, and helped to bring down England's ancien regime. This was the revolution before the Revolution, the revolution that led to civil war.
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Archbishop Laud Arminian army authority bishops Bodleian Library Book of Common British Library Brownists Cambridge canons ceremonialist Cheshire Church of England churchwardens civil clerical Common Prayer conservative constables County court CSPD Devon Record Office Diary distempers distractions Earl English Revolution episcopacy Exeter fear God’s godly Henry Hertfordshire History Honourable House of Commons Huntington Library Jansson January John Taylor Kent King Charles King’s kingdom Lambeth Laudian Letters libels London Metropolitan Archives Long Parliament Lord magistrates majesty’s Manuscripts March Matthews minister November Opening Session Oxford pamphlets Papers parish parishioners parliamentary petition political popish prayer book preachers preaching printed Proceedings Protestation puritans Quarter Sessions radical rails rebellion reformation religion religious Report Richard Robert scandalous Scots Scottish sectarian sectaries separatist September 1640 Sermon Sessions Roll Short Parliament Sir Simonds D’Ewes soldiers Strafford Thomas trained bands tumults vicar Walker Revised Westminster William William Laud wrote Yorkshire