Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers

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This book makes an original contribution to the history of the English Revolution and to the meaning of crowd behavior. It recreates one of the most famous episodes, in which crowds from Essex and Suffolk attacked and plundered the houses of the gentry, and sought to "ethnically cleanse" their communities of Catholics. The deeper perspective offered by history shows that this action was not "blind violence": the book deciphers the logic that informed the crowd's behavior, and finds evidence of both the importance—and reach—of puritanism and popular parliamentarianism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Based on a wealth of local and national sources, fully documented, and eminently readable, Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution should become a classic and find a place on the shelves of professional historians and university libraries." Elizabeth Lane Furdell, History

"...an unusually successful exercise in micro-history." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the role of the people in the English Revolution through an exercise in microhistory...This is a model study which deserves a wide readership." American Historical Review

"John Walter's splendid new book captures the reader's attention from the very first line...This is a marvelous book by a scholar at the very height of his powers: all serious students of eary modern England should read it." Albion

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Event: 1. An event and its history; 2. The attacks; Part II. Contextualising the Crowd: 3. Contextualising crowd actions I: the micro-politics of the attack on Sir John Lucas; 4. Contextualising crowd actions II: the high politics of the attack on Sir John Lucas; 5. The confessional crowd I: the attack on ministers; 6. The confessional crowd II: the attack on Catholics; Part III. Reading the Crowd: 7. Reading the crowds I: cloth and class; 8. Reading the crowds II: anti-popery and popular parliamentarianism; 9. Conclusion.

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