Clearing the Way: Challenges and Agenda

Bernard Capp

in England's Culture Wars

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641789
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744228 | DOI:
Clearing the Way: Challenges and Agenda

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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The new Commonwealth set out to reshape the nation's mental landscape by eradicating symbols of monarchy. It had royal statues removed, along with many ‘royal’ alehouse signs, and royal arms were replaced by its own throughout the land. Reformers also addressed other aspects of the traditional cultural landscape, including the calendar, urging that the pagan names of the days and months should be replaced. More effort was focused on the ‘profane’ traditions surrounding Christmas. The regime largely succeeded in suppressing church services on Christmas Day, but failed to turn Christmas into merely another working day. The chapter ends with a survey of the reforming laws and ordinances of the 1650s, which built on pre-war initiatives, and shows how the reforming impulse remained strong to the very end of the period.

Keywords: Commonwealth; royalist symbols; calendar; Christmas; laws and ordinances; mental landscape

Chapter.  10634 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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