1. Twenty-years of revisionist scholarship changed the view of what had first been known as the “Puritan revolution” and then “the English revolution”. Between 1970 and 1990, explanations of the English Civil War were re-shaped by setting it back in its proper context of early modern politics. This was a reaction to a kind of social determination of politics emphasising conflict that culminated in Lawrence Stone’s The Causes of the English revolution. Since then a return to a detailed political narrative has underlined the traditional and hierarchical values that held currency in the consensual framework of early modern British politics. The idea of Puritanism as the ideology for a modern revolution gave way to the “rise of Arminianism” thesis. In this view, Laudian Church reforms had been the real agents of innovation causing the breakdown of the “Calvinistic consensus” previously existing within the Church of England and led consequently to the civil war. Inquiries about the impact of the civil wars of the 1640s on the provinces showed that the bulk of the population remained neutral and mass movements entered rather into action to defend their own traditional way of life: these were the Clubmen, whom John Morrill defined as “radical conservatives”.
We have learnt in time that the varieties of
revisionist historical studies did not culminate in a ‘school’ with
a shared interpretation. Or, to use a metaphor of one of its leading
representatives, “all versions of revisionism, like all brands of whisky,
enjoyed certain broad
similarities”. As a non-British occasional drinker, I would see this unity in a tendency to
exalt a somewhat ‘traditional’ dimension of the English civil war,
as something comparable to the past – wars of religion and baronial
revolts – more than to the future, in a self-represented avowal to escape
anachronism. Such an approach produced a new understanding of that momentous
period of English history. Politics and religion had their own structures and
patterns returned to them as central aspects of the story. The British multiple
kingdoms context, Conrad Russell’s way to the English civil war, affirmed
itself in 1990s historical studies, providing the outline of a new synthesis.
The revisionist approach, however, had its casualties.
The major ones were radical ideas and movements.
In the climate out of which the “revisionist revolt” was born in the
aftermath of Hill’s World turned upside down, more than one wished
to push men such as the prophet Thomas Tany and the Ranter Abiezer Coppe back
into the old box of the “lunatic fringe”, possibly with Winstanley,
the Digger, and Lilburne, the Leveller. “Revolution” became a
concept of uncertain meaning, if it had any at all, in relation to the English
1640s. Radicals were displaced as out of context. Levellers and Diggers, which
many Whig and Marxist historians had seen as popular movements representing the
‘democratic’ apex of the revolution, were marginalised. Between the
mid 1980s and the early 1990s, Jonathan Clark and Conal Condren, with some help
from J.C. Davis’ Fear, Myth and History, tried definitively to
categorise the radicals, as people that, at best, did not know what they were
The erasing of radicalism did not garner much
following. Rather, it represented a problem to be solved in the new syntheses
that began to arise. Russellian explanations of the civil war stopped short of
analysing the political radicalisation which shaped the experience of the 1640s
and led to Charles I's
execution. In Mark Kishlanky’s account of the Stuart century radicals, in the shape
of religious enthusiasts, appeared as ironic diabuli ex machina precipitating the temporary end of monarchy: agents in a “revolution” “born of the axe” and hardly surviving a
To my mind, these outcomes have attested to a lasting difficulty in dealing with
radicalism. This has been due to the prolonged evasion of the need for a
telos, diagnosed in a perceptive essay by Glenn Burgess. All historical
writing moves towards a telos, he argued, and radicalism was a privileged
telos for the historians of the English Civil War:
There is nothing particularly unusual about
either baronial revolts or religious wars, but there is something unusual about
the English revolution – radicalism. It is this that has meant that it has
never been totally absurd to see the English revolution as a revolution,
comparable with those of the French and the Russians. [...] When before have
baronial rebellions produced a Gerrard
of radicalism the English revolution stands alone among past rebellions and
religious wars and among the seventeenth-century European revolts in Spain,
Naples and France.
New ways of addressing
radicalism and revolution were increasingly sought in English-speaking
historiography in the last decade of the twentieth century. In part, they have
developed as an effort from within revisionism to supersede its own limits and
in part, they came from without as a way to respond to its challenges. Jonathan
Scott’s argument that radicalism “was the English
has started the new century by closing, in a way, what could be termed a phase
of rediscovery. In this brief contribution I aim to chart some of the ways
through which radicalism has been rediscovered and hint at some problems it
continues to pose.
2. Who were the radicals
of the English revolution? They were, following Scott’s outline, the
Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, Fifth-Monarchists, Quakers and republicans. They
represented “an innovative intellectual response to the unprecedented
practical circumstances, whether negative (the disappearance of traditional
institutions) or positive (victorious conduct in
war)”. Scott rightly suggests that these labels be taken as several stages in the
radical response to a rapidly changing context more than actual contemporaneous
groups. However, as a start to this discussion, we should say that, except for
the republicans, they were the protagonists of the “world turned upside
down” framed by Christopher Hill. His idea about a "revolt within the
revolution" effected in a greater sense than the new generation of British
historians seem aware, a revision of his own previous accounts. This revision
could be discussed in respect of his Marxism: he was a Marxist for whom ideas
counted and were not a mere reflection of social conditions and class interest.
Or it could be evaluated in respect of the twentieth-century tradition of
studies on the ‘democratic’ movements of the English revolution, in
which Marxist and Whig approaches combined. This tradition was mostly consistent
in focussing on the secular aspects of the Levellers' politics. The World
Turned Upside Down displaced the Levellers from the centre-stage,
introducing instead a myriad of little-considered religious ideas, individuals
and groups, though still searching in them seeds of secular social and political
The most problematic shortcoming in Hill’s
account was a quasi-automatic equation of radical and popular ideas, since he
viewed the English revolution as characterised by class-conflict. Following
Morrill’s Revolt in the Provinces it has been clear that the
popular conservative defence of traditional community, not popular radicalism,
was also the rule during the English civil
In the same period also, the debate among the leftwing historians of the History
Workshop group cast light on the ambiguities of the association between radical
ideas and people in early modern Europe and
Britain. Therefore, during the 1980s historians who had been trained in Hill’s
teachings acknowledged that an undoubted religious radicalism did exist during
the revolution, which only a minority of “ordinary people” represented. At any rate, in the wake of revisionist critique, radicalism seemed
to be reduced to a catalyst of conservative
forces. It survived on the plane of expression: studies on radicalism progressively took
the shape of studies about radical religion and the radical word. As an epigraph
to this process, we could choose Nigel Smith’s assertion that “by
the summer of 1660 the revolution was lost, but literature had
triumphed”. Winstanley, Walwyn, Coppe, not so much at ease in the political world of the
British multiple kingdoms context, entered into the English literary canon. Even
if “revolution” had become tremendously old-fashioned among
English-speaking historians – as one reviewer has recently written –
it cannot be denied that the poetry and the prose of the period “by any
fair comparison with what came before and what came after” were
“either revolutionary or at least
This sounds like a retreat from political and
social context but, in effect, is only partially the case. In a way, radicalism
was returning to the literary field from which it was born to the attention of
twentieth century historiography: the Levellers and the Diggers became an
established scholarly topic thanks to American literary scholars, who firstly
became aware of a host of pamphleteers around
Milton. To my mind, the literary departments’ lasting interest in the English
revolution is a consequence of the strong historical relationship between the
sudden and hitherto unknown outburst of printed works in the 1640s and radical
ideas. While the revisionist sharp critique of exclusive reliance on printed
sources has pushed a rethink of how to deal with early modern printed matter and
propaganda, it has also at times argued for a ‘high road to true
history’ through manuscript sources that had no epistemological foundation
and risked missing the specificity of the “broader political nation” of the English seventeenth
century. Literary studies have lately met a strand of historical studies on this ground.
A number of historians in the 1990s began to address an early modern “public sphere” born out of the English revolution. Some pursued
this in an avowed attempt to re-sow the ties with sociological and theoretical
approaches, which had been severed by the “revisionist
“Public sphere” is a Habermasian
concept that bears, in my opinion, some basic problems when applied to the
seventeenth century. Nonetheless, it has some merits insofar as it helps to
conceptualize the novelty of political communication in the 1640s. In these
years, for historians such as David Zaret, print changed the rules of political
struggle, infringing the limits of traditional political culture, creating an
enlarged space for popular politics and moving towards an incipient democratic
culture. While revising some aspects of the Habermasian concept – namely
the timing of the birth and “bourgeois” social determination of the
“public sphere”– this kind of approach again tends to shape a
far too simple drive from religion to secular reason, not least by selecting its
sources. Instead, the “invention of the public sphere” in the English
revolution runs together at least with the “invention of the
newspaper”. From this perspective, Joad Raymond has warned that the notion
of a seventeenth century “public sphere” has to make room not just
for instrumentality, but also for conflicting religious and political views,
heterogeneity of printed texts and active manipulation by readers. In this
sense, the fundamental change in political communication during the 1640s is
best viewed in relation to the eclectic nature of the
However, when attention is directed to the
change in political communication through print and public debate, two important
results are achieved. On the one hand, a context is set where literate and oral
discourses on state, church and society meet. The “bricolage”, the
“interaction” between elite and popular languages gave rise to
fusion” in public. Moreover, all sides participated in the public area of debate: it was
neither the privilege of parliamentarians nor royalists, of Presbyterians or of “Sectaries” and Levellers, of conservative or of
It was their sphere of contest through which all of them contributed to the
change in political culture.
On the other hand,
radicals again found room to play an important role in this English
revolution, which could hardly be confined to high politics and/or the
coup of a handful of “enthusiasts”. Milton’s rational
argument for freedom of the press, the Levellers’ “petitionary
movement” for constitutional reform, the “imaginative
gesture”, the “incorporeal performance” of the divine
inspiration, the irreducible verbal moves which were at the heart of the
Seekers’, Diggers’ and Ranters’ battle for religious
toleration and political and social transformation; all these have their place
within the public discourse of the English revolution. The pamphlet was for all
of them, in the appropriate words of Raymond, the means “to extend the
efficacy of communication beyond the boundaries of the parish and
Quakers, heirs to the 1640s, represented a collective author and an intense
spiritual religion through their pamphlets, so shaping the first popular
political and religious movement of national
Religion was the key issue highlighted by revisionist historiography, by which
it might surpass its own limits and encompass an understanding of the themes of
radicalism and revolution. Burgess’s essay, with which I started this
discussion, rightly envisaged it at the centre of the historical agenda at the
end of the 1980s. John Morrill had already begun to explain the collapse of
consensus politics in 1641-1642, and the capacity of the Parliamentarian front
to mobilize a “cross-section of the nation”, by Puritan ideological
dynamism, that is its quest for godly reformation framed by an anti-popery
The idea of the one-way relationship between a Laudian 'revolutionary' challenge
and Puritan 'conservative' response came to be revised by the historian who had
so influentially originated
it. The 1990s therefore assisted a return of some sort of Puritan revolution, either
in terms of a sudden seizure of the political initiative by a small ideological,
embattled but previously marginal minority, or in terms of the ultimate result
of a “growing cultural
force”. “Emphasis on religion” appeared then, as Peter Lake put it, as
“the continuation of revisionism by other
The relationship between religion and
radicalism, however, could also dispense with the category of Puritanism.
According to J. C. Davis, a fundamental religious drive against human forms had
characterised the unique case in Europe of “radicalism in a traditional
society”: this was a revolutionary “aspiration” to a new world
of spiritual substance beyond human invention that was impeded, nonetheless,
from effectiveness as a political project by its intrinsic anti-formalist mould.
Here was the solution to the riddle of intellectual “leaps” which
started the modern debate about liberty and authority in an unchanged
society. One end to this line is Scott’s synthesis.
According to Scott the correct context of the
radical experience of the mid-century revolution, through all its varieties from
Levellers to republicans, is the “European reformation” and its
tensions. He sees it as a phase of the process of radicalism-revolution that
enervates and competes with the two other processes characterising the
“troubles” of the British seventeenth century: Caroline
state-building and Restoration. Republicanism and Restoration radicalism were,
in turn, two more phases of the English revolution, understood as an
intellectual process embracing the first and second halves of the century. This
point of view allows an illustration of how the different intellectual European
contexts of the radical Reformation and Renaissance concur in giving radicalism
its shape, and a perception of their common ground: a Christian moral aspiration
to freedom from oppression. Born out of the 1640s institutional meltdown,
mid-seventeenth-century radicals founded this in an anti-formalist idea of
religious experience, which framed their “root and branch” critique
of existing Church and State institutions and their quest for practical
realization of the moral and social substance of Christianity – unity,
peace, charity and equality. The Levellers transferred all of these into the
political realm by articulating a constantly growing catalogue of religious,
political, economic and social oppressions to be redressed. Therefore, civil war
radicals sought freedom from institutions under God’s government, while
remaining caught in the anti-formalist trap of clearly seeing their end without
being able to conceive of their means. With such a scope, they soon came to be
disillusioned by the 1649 revolution which changed the forms of oppression
without changing its substance. Republicanism now tried to tackle the issue of
government, responding, as it was, to the need for a new political settlement in
Britain. Responding to practical circumstance and concerned more with spirit
than with form and constitution, as Blair Worden described Milton’s
politics, English republicanism added to the radicalism of the 1640s insofar as
it sought fulfilment of Christian moral liberty and of a basic idea of
this perspective, the radicals’ contribution to the political fracture
caused by the abolition of monarchy and the establishment of a Commonwealth
appears to be among its “incidental consequences”. Its substance was
intellectual and cultural: the English revolution was indeed “an
intellectual process, or phenomenon of belief, though with a crucial practical
context and some spectacular constitutional as well as literary
consequences”. As with literary studies, its core is “English
radical imagination”, which was “refracted” through its
Restoration phase and adaptation to institutional reconstruction towards the
Glorious revolution and the Enlightenment.
4. A comparative approach to the European
context has often gone hand in hand with this re-shaping of radicalism in
religious terms. The peculiar religious situation as a potential for
radicalization was one of the main points of critique raised by Ann Hughes to
the British multiple kingdoms thesis of Conrad Russell. Russellian studies
placed the Stuart monarchy side by side with other European composite
monarchies, but failed to account for different outcomes of the contemporary
revolts that affected them. For Hughes, the division of the English on matters
of church and religion created the conditions for an ideological clash, in
which, moreover, the English discontents could find an alliance with the Scots.
But other grounds existed for the collapse of the centre of the British
composite monarchy in striking contrast, for example, with the quelled ‘nationalist’ revolts in the provinces of the Spanish monarchy.
Albeit without a professional bureaucracy, the English state was a highly
centralised body, which had integrated the bulk of the local ruling elite into
its structure. Radicalization, absent in other European cases, was linked both
to the peculiar religious division within the British Isles and the peculiar
structure of the English
As the "new social history" has demonstrated the
parish in England was a political forum. A continuing negotiation of authority
and subordination featured within it: gossip, rough music, libel, legal
disputes, rioting, petitioning, voting and rebellion represented the diverse
forms of conducting and solving conflict. They constituted elements of a
culture”. These were also the means by which the “ordinary people” shaped
modern Europe on the continent, according to recent studies on the sometime
politics”. In England, nonetheless, an increasingly richer “middling” or
“better” sort of men were changing the framework of popular politics
by moving into the local ruling elite and internalising the language and the
values of the state. Puritanism, while providing, to the “middling sort of
men”, an ideology to discipline the lower orders, also offered an
interpretation of the contemporary crisis that connected fear of popery to more
direct constitutional issues, such as the appeal to frequent
National and local issues were so interlocked,
that a viable reading of the political crisis of the early seventeenth-century
could envisage the broad involvement of the “middling sort” in an
open political process as a remedy for the conceivable “corruption” of a government of the
few. These elements composed that “popularity” which Charles I feared,
one which was increasingly becoming reality thanks to a growing network of
information and political
was a particular environment for “the politics of the parish”, as
the research of Peter Lake and David Como has recently
stressed. A metropolitan centre like London, where preachers in search of fortune tried to
emerge through the credit and allegiance of lay parishioners, was a world of
intra-puritan disputes that made dissent and heterodoxy a possibility within
orthodoxy. Socio-cultural mechanisms governing the London godly community show
that until the decade before the revolution “orthodoxy” had been an
“achieved effect”: a product of a “myriad of agreements to
disagree” which succeeded, until this point, in massaging into quiescence
the conflicting claims to orthodoxy by rival ministers and their socially
heterogeneous lay following. Those mechanisms worked until godly leading
ministers had in licensing and clerical authorities an ally condescending to
their self-regulation. This meant the existence of a “London Puritan
underground” nurtured by manuscript exchanges, private conferences, pulpit
denunciations, correspondence networks, circulation of papers, rumours and
anecdotes. In this sphere the involvement of London parishioners of the middling
and lower sort was possible, while a common stock of orthodox puritan beliefs
were liable to mix with Familist and Antinomian spiritual tenets. The capability
of Puritans to be self-regulating broke down when licensing and clerical
authorities under Laud influence turned to exploiting intra-puritan divergences
in order to show that Puritanism was intrinsically subversive. Then, more
distinctly sectarian and heterodox influences made their way into the London
godly community with greater ease.
and Lake’s perspective from London thus questions the idea of Puritanism
as an ideology for the control and order of new elites, emerging from studies on
provincial communities. Moreover, in underlining the role of laity and of
members of the lower sort in the internal development of Puritanism in London,
they again put the issue of the relationship between religion, popular politics
and radicalism on the agenda of historical studies. Finally they bring the
“rise of Arminianism” thesis to terms with Puritan dynamism.
not because it transformed a statically
Calvinist Puritanism into a radically oppositionist movement but because it
radically changed the institutional, political and cultural circumstances within
which the inherently fissiparous and dynamic elements at the heart of mainstream
Puritanism had hitherto been controlled and
such a perspective, internal dynamism and pressures from without are balanced in
the emergence of 1640s radicalism. In part, radical spiritual and antinomian
tenets were developed from within Puritan tradition and experience. In part they
also resulted from exposure to a growing sectarian challenge which became
prominent because of the breakdown of Church consensus during the 1630s under
Laudian initiative. A new change in context would have opened the intra-puritan
disputes into a “genuine ‘public sphere’” with the de
facto collapse of censorship in the
5. Radicalism and English revolution
are not on a high road, but at a crossroads. Historians seem to place them where
a number of contexts intersect. This could be an answer to the question of the “nature of the English revolution”, which, as John Morrill put it by
citing Hill, required attention to be paid more to “environment”
“heredity”. This is a two-sided issue. On the one hand, there is the radicalization of
conflict that shattered the unity of the “political nation” at the
beginning of the 1640s and precipitated England into the civil war. On the other
hand, there is the problem of late 1640s radicalism, which Morrill, envisaging a
comparison between the Levellers and the Clubmen, raised in a stimulating
question: how “Leveller pamphlets and petitions combined deeply
regressive economic and social ideas with a core commitment to religious
liberty and to a political doctrine born of experience of Independent churches,
all bound together in an innovative natural rights
In this question and in its possible answer, popular participation and radical
ideas still stand at the heart of the matter. The varieties of the English
religious experience together with the widening or
publicity of discourses seem to be the decisive turning on the map: where the
last war of religion becomes a
Evaluating radicalism on this turning
remains the crux. There is a line dividing the radicalization of conflict and
radicalism that, to my reading of recent studies, appears to be blurred. This is
possibly a result of a concentration on the (common) origins and context of the
two phenomena, leaving out content and ends. I see this kind of risk, for
example, in Ann Hughes’s recent important contribution to an understanding
of English Presbyterian politics. She refers to Zaret’s insights about the
“public sphere” in which all sides participated, and her views
concur with Como and Lake’s suggestion that publicity of discourses was
also a result of mainstream Puritanism’s drive to a dialogical
construction of orthodoxy. In this perspective, she characterises Presbyterians
as a “radical movement”, for they engaged in public debate and
exploited propaganda to foster a “moral, social and cultural
Could one argue, instead, that Presbyterians
only took part in an advanced phase of a radicalized conflict? This was
perfectly possible at every level in the structure of early modern politics: the
whole of Europe was experiencing such forms of intensified conflict and did not
know revolution. One may add that the explosion of pamphlet production did not
result everywhere in lasting changes in political communication: the French
Mazarinades is one example. On the British side of the Channel, the “radical conservatism” of Clubmen, in the light of recent studies on
the political culture of “ordinary people”, appears to be nothing
other than a continuation of the traditional popular politics of the parish in a
new context. Could one argue that the Presbyterians, mutatis mutandis,
were also continuing a form of traditional politics while endorsing public
debate and contest? In other words, that they were “conservative” in
opposition to some others that were “radical” in terms of the
religious and political perspective they advanced in the same
The issue obviously relates to the
intellectual and practical scope of radicalism. What made the difference between
Clubmen on the one hand and the Levellers and Diggers on the other was not only
the centrality of the religious experience of the “hotter sort of
puritans”, but also the way in which the radicals framed them in a new
kind of popular politics. In trying to interpret social change in the urban and
rural environments, they spoke for themselves and developed through print ideas
and action for fundamental change in State and Church. This is why one could
also say that the Levellers’ contribution to the modern concept of popular
sovereignty was more in their practice of mass politics than in their
As Scott argues, Levellers and Diggers are
varieties of a struggle that enjoyed a fundamental unity. I see this point of
unity as the juncture where radical perspectives departed from war of religion.
Presbyterians took part in the public debate in order to control it and silence
the widening religious experiences of the 1640s. They fought a war of religion
in the name of the one transcendental Truth. Radicals were those for whom the
issue of error itself became irrelevant in the context of the public debate, as
Hughes acknowledges of men such as Saltmarsh and Walwyn. It seems to me that a
common form of spiritual religion suggested to them and others like Robert Bacon
and Joshua Sprigge, the Levellers, Diggers and Ranters that the new kind of
communication they were living was “Christ rising in sons and
daughters”, and fought accordingly in the religious and, to a lesser
extent, political sphere. There are grounds to say that radicals fought for a
non-confessional state as a way out of the wars of religion, a rarity in
early-modern Europe. I would say that Presbyterians fought
Geneva: they were conservative since they aimed to maintain the principles of
confessional politics in a context that was changing. I would suggest in other
words that radicalism can be understood at the crossroads between religion and
public debate. Radicals were not “ahead of their time”. They were
not just reactive and responsive. They were interpreting, and acting in, a new
context according to an awareness of its novelty.
Were they just ‘imagining’ change
and revolution? Or did they contribute actively to change and revolution, before
being disillusioned and defeated? Are inquiries into the radical networks
liable to provide a view of the social and communicative framework in which
lower sort puritans such as Thomas Tany or Gerrard Winstanley participated in
shaping the course of the revolution?
 C. Russell, Unrevolutionary England, London, Hambledon Press, p. IX.
 C. Condren, The Language of Politics in Seventeenth-Century England, New York, St. Martin Press, 1994; J.C.D. Clark, Revolution and Rebellion. State and Society in England in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Cambridge U.P:, 1986; J. C. Davis, Fear, Myth and History. The Ranters and the Historians, Cambridge U.P., 1986. Davis’s position was rather about ‘rethinking’ radicalism, see below.
 C. Russell, The Fall of the British Monarchies, 1637-1642, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1991.
 M. Kishlansky, A Monarchy Transformed. Britain 1603-1714, London, Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1996.
 G. Burgess, On Revisionism: an Analysis of Early Stuart Historiography, “The Historical Journal”, XXXIII, 3, 1990, pp. 625, 627.
 J. Scott, England's Troubles: Seventeenth-century English Political Instability in European Context, Cambridge U.P., 2000, p. 33.
 Ibid., p. 242.
 C. Hill, The World Turned Upside Down. Radical Ideas during the English Revolution, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1975 .
 J. Morrill, The Revolt in the Provinces 1630-1648. The People of England and the Tragedies of the War, London/New York, Longman, 1999 .
 P. Burke, People’s History and Total History, in R. Samuel (ed.), People’s History, People’s History and Socialist Theory, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981, pp. 7-8.
 B. Reay, “Introduction” to J.F. McGregor, B. Reay (eds.), Radical Religion in the English Revolution, Oxford U.P., 1984, pp. 1-21.
 N. Smith, Anglia Rediviva. Literature and Revolution in England 1640-1660, New Haven, Yale U.P., 1994, p. 19; See also p. 6 and 362.
 D. Woolf, “Review of N.H. Keeble (ed.), Companion to Writing of the English Revolution, Cambridge U.P., 2001”, H-Albion, H-Net Reviews, July, 2002, <http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=9281028323067>, [10/2/2006].
 W. Haller (ed.), Tracts on Liberty in the Puritan Revolution, New York, 1979 [1933-34], vol I, “Preface” and pp. 3-7.
 R. Cust, A. Hughes, “Introduction” to The English Civil War, London, Arnold, 1997, p. 23.
 D. Zaret, Origins of Democratic Culture: Printing, Petitions and the Public Sphere in Early Modern England, Princeton U.P., 2000.
 Zaret’s focus is obviously on petitions. Steven Pincus indicates the legacy of the 1650s radicals and republicans in asserting that the language of political economy and national interest characterised the newborn English public sphere from then on: see S. Pincus, Protestantism and Patriotism: Ideologies and the Making of English Foreign Policy 1650-1668, Cambridge, 1996, esp. 441-452; id., The Making of A Great Power? Universal Monarchy, Political Economy, and the Transformation of English Political Culture, “The European Legacy”, V, , 4, 2000, pp. 535-541.
 J. Raymond, The Newspaper, Public Opinion, and the Public Sphere in the Seventeenth Century, in id. (ed.), News, Newspapers, and Society in Early Modern Britain, London, Frank Cass, 1999, pp. 109-140; id., Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain, Cambridge U.P., 2003.
 N. McDowell, The English Radical Imagination. Culture, Religion, and Revolution, 1630-1660, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2003.
 D. Zaret, Origins of Democratic Culture, cit., p. 88.
 J. Raymond, Pamphlets and Pamphleteering, cit., pp. 224-247; N. Smith, Anglia Rediviva, cit., pp. 131-139, 153.
 K. Peters, Patterns of Quaker Authorship, 1652-56, in T.N. Corns, D. Loewenstein (eds.), The Emergence of Quaker Writings, London, Frank Cass, pp. 6-24; N. Smith, Non-conformist voices and books, in J. Barnard, D.F. McKenzie (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain 1557-1695, vol. IV, Cambridge, 2002, pp. pp. 410-430, esp. 424-426.
 J. Morrill, Charles I, Tyranny and the English Civil War, in id., The Nature of the English Revolution, London/newYork, Longman, pp. 304-305; id. The Religious Context of the English Civil War, ibid., pp. 45-68; id., The Attack on the Church of England in the Long Parliament, ibid., pp. 69-90 266-270. These essays were all firstly published between 1985 and 1990.
 N. Tyacke, Puritanism, Arminianism and Counter-Revolution, in C. Russell (ed.), The Origins of the English Civil War, London, MacMillan, 1992 , pp. 119-143; id., The ‘rise of Puritanism’ and the Legalizing of Dissent, 1571-1719, in O.P. Grell, J. Israel, N. Tyacke (eds.), From Persecution to Toleration. The Glorious Revolution and Religion in England, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1991, pp. 17-49.
 K. Sharpe, The Personal Rule of Charles I, New Haven/London, Yale U.P., pp. 731-765; J. Eales, A Road to Revolution: the Continuity of Puritanism, in C. Durston, J. Eales (eds.), The Culture of English Puritanism, Basingstoke/London, MacMillan, 1996, pp. 184-209
 P. Lake, “Introduction” to G. Nuttall, The Holy Spirit in Puritan Faith and Experience, Chicago/London, University of Chicago Press, 1992, p. xv.
 J.C. Davis, Radicalism in a Traditional Society: the Evaluation of Radical Thought in the English Commonwealth 1649-1660, “History of Political Thought”, III, 2, 1982, pp. 193-213; id. Against Formality: One Aspect of the English Revolution, “Transactions of the Royal Historical Society”, VI ser., 3, 1993, pp. 265-288.
 J. Scott, England's Troubles, cit., 229-341; B. Worden, Milton and Marchamont Needham, in D. Armitage, A. Himy, Q. Skinner (eds.), Milton and Republicanism, Cambridge U.P., p. 170.
 A. Hughes, The Causes of the English Civil War, Basingstoke/London, MacMillan, 1991, pp., 32-61. On English State formation, S. Hindle, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England 1550-1640, Basingstoke, MacMillan, 2000; M. Braddick, State Formation in Early modern England, c. 1500-1700, Cambridge U.P., 2000.
 K. Wrightson, The Politics of the Parish in Early Modern England, in P. Griffiths, A. Fox, S. Hindle (eds.), The experience of Authority in Early Modern England, Basingstoke, MacMillan, 1996, pp. 10-46.
 W. Te Brake, Shaping History. Ordinary People in European Politics 1500-1700, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998, <http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft500006j4/>; C. Tilly, Contention and Democracy in Europe, 1650-2000, Cambridge U.P., 2004. See also: P. Blickle (ed.), Resistance, Representation, and Community, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1997; A. Würgler, Voices from among the “Silent masses”: Humble petitions and Social Conflicts in early Modern central Europe, “International Review of Social History”, XLVI, suppl. 9, 2001, pp. 11-34.
 K.E. Wrightson, English Society 1580-1680, London, Hutchinson,1982, pp. 148-182, 206-228; A. Hughes, The Causes of the English Civil War, cit., pp. 84-97, 130-132; S. Hindle, The State and Social Change, cit., pp. 23-32.
 On “popularity” see the essays by T. Cogswell, R. Cust and P. Lake in T. Cogswell, R. Cust, P. Lake (eds.), Politics, Religion and Popularity in early Stuart Britain. Essays in Honour of Conrad Russell, Cambridge U.P., 2002, pp. 211-289.
 The concluding paragraphs of this section are based on: D. Como, P. Lake, Puritanism, Antinomians and Laudians in the Caroline London: The Strange Case of Peter Shaw and its Contexts, “Journal of Ecclesiastical History”, 50, 4, 1999, pp. 684-715; P. Lake, D. Como, “Orthodoxy” and Its Discontents: Dispute Settlement and the Production of “Consensus” in the London (Puritan) “Underground”, “The Journal of British Studies, 39, 1, 2000, pp. 34-70; P. Lake, The Boxmaker’s revenge. ‘Orthodoxy’, Heteredoxy’ and the Politcs of the Parish in early Stuart London, Stanford U.P., 2001. I regret that I have still not been able to read D. Como, Blown by the Spirit. Puritanism and the emergence of an Antinomian Underground in Pre-Civil-War England, Stanford U.P., 2004.
 P. Lake, D. Como, “Orthodoxy” and Its Discontents, cit., p. 66.
 J. Morrill, Christopher Hill’s Revolution, in Id., The Nature of the English Revolution, cit. p. 281.
 J. Morrill, Introduction: Britain’s revolutions, ibid., p. 249. Emphasis added.
 T. Harris, The Politics of the Excluded, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2001, pp. 21-25.
 A. Hughes, Gangraena and the English Revolution, Oxford U.P., 2004, esp. pp. 409-415.
 A. Wood, Riot, Rebellion, and popular Politics in Early modern England, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2002, pp. 145-171; T. Harris, The Leveller Legacy: from the Restoration to the Exclusion Crisis, in M. Mendle (ed.), The Putney Debate, Cambridge U.P., 2001, pp. 219-240.