This post continues from my previous post about on the Putney Debates; a debate that took place between Cromwell and the Army Grandees on the one hand, and the representatives of the Leveller movement on the other. The debate signifies a milestone in the development of democratic ideas in England.
On October 28, 1647, an extraordinary debate occurred at Putney Church in London. Representatives of the New Model Army rank and file – Agitators – met with members of the Council of War – the grandees – in order to debate the terms of settlement laid out in the Heads of Proposals, The Case of … More Democracy at Putney Church
At the height of the English Revolution, a group of newly proletarianized Englishman occupied St. George Hill in Surrey with the intent of establishing a more egalitarian and democratic way of life. The ‘leader’ of this group of ‘Diggers’ was a man from Wigan named Gerrard Winstanley, a man who, by the late nineteenth century, … More Gerrard Winstanley, the Original Occupier
The development of agrarian capitalism therefore entails the reconfiguration of class relations in the English countryside. As we have seen, the development of agrarian capitalism gave rise to the differentiation of the peasantry out of which emerged a class of capitalist tenant-farmers and a class of semi-proletarianized cottagers, smallholders and property-less wage-laborers. Atop this class … More Diggers, Levellers and Agrarian Capitalism: an excerpt