Political Engagement

Henry Reece

in The Army in Cromwellian England, 1649-1660

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780198200635
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746284 | DOI:
Political Engagement

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The critical question relating to the army's political engagement is how and why did an army that was capable of the revolutionary acts of 1647–9 accept both the conservative regimes of the 1650s and the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 with so little outright opposition. This chapter makes no attempt to trace the story of the army's well-known political interventions but seeks to explain how and why the nature of political engagement among officers and soldiers changed. The focus is on five themes: the legacy of the army revolt of 1647; the army's sense of institutional identity and the importance of military jurisdiction; the practical effects of the physical dispersion of the army; the relationship between officers and soldiers in the context of land purchases made with arrears of pay; and the interaction between Cromwell and politically radical officers.

Keywords: political engagement; officers; soldiers; army revolt; institutional identity; Cromwell; army radicals; land purchases; military jurisdiction; physical dispersion

Chapter.  16249 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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