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Radicalism in the English Revolution 1640-1660 (HI312) - Short Essay Titles

  1. Examine the view that between 1640 and 1642 the Parliamentary leaders 'manipulated' the London crowds for their own ends.
  2. Did the parliamentary leaders or the king benefit more from crowd disturbances in London [and/or the provinces] in the years 1640-42?
  3. How far is the value of the Venetian Ambassador's reports undermined by his foreign and Catholic perspective?
  4. 'Personality proved a more divisive issue than constitutional principles in shaping the course of events in 1640-42.' Do you agree?
  5. Why did political and religious compromise prove impossible in the period 1640-42?
  6. Why did Parliament emerge victorious in the civil war, and why did it take so long?
  7. To what extent did the war force radical innovation upon Parliament and its supporters, 1642-1646?
  8. Was the civil war a disaster for the common people?
  9. How did the common people react to the war and the changes it brought, 1642-1646?
  10. Compare 'neutralism' at the start of the civil war with the 'neutralism' of the Clubmen.
  11. How far was allegiance in the civil war determined by external pressures rather than individual choice?
  12. What does the Gangraena controversy reveal concerning attitudes to toleration in the 1640s?
  13. What does the Fiery Flying Rolle show about the nature of Coppe's religious and social beliefs?
  14. Discuss the view of J C Davis that the 'Ranters' were inventions of 17th century conservatives and 20th century Marxists.
  15. Why was the religious radicalism of the 1640s so fluid and divided?
  16. How far and why did the Army become radicalised in 1647?
  17. What is the significance of the Remonstrance of Many Thousand Citizens?
  18. How did the Levellers think the 'sovereignty of the people' could be made meaningful in practice as well as theory?
  19. Was the Leveller movement bound to fail?
  20. Why did Winstanley believe the Digger movement could and would triumph, and by peaceful means?
  21. What was the nature of Winstanley's millenarian beliefs?
  22. 'The product of both euphoria and disillusion.' Discuss this comment on the emergence of EITHER the Digger OR the Fifth Monarchist movement.
  23. Was the Rump a republic without republicans?
  24. Why did the Barebones experiment disappoint all who took part in it?
  25. Why did the Rump consider itself a success when most contemporaries branded it a failure?
  26. Should the Fifth Monarchists be seen as a religious denomination or as a political movement?
  27. What considerations lay behind the calling of the Barebones Parliament and its collapse?
  28. What issues were involved in Parliament's trial of James Naylor?
  29. Why were the early Quakers regarded as a social and political threat?
  30. Why did the Quakers spread further and faster than any other radical movement in this period?
  31. 'An exercise in cynical brutality.' Is this a fair judgement on Cromwell in Ireland?
  32. What were the guiding principles in Cromwell's religious thinking OR his political behaviour?