Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642, by Lawrence Stone

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Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642, by Lawrence Stone

Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642, by Lawrence Stone

Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642, by Lawrence Stone

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Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642, by Lawrence Stone

First published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

  • Sales Rank: #999089 in Books
  • Published on: 2001-12-16
  • Released on: 2001-11-15
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.50″ h x .47″ w x 5.43″ l, .57 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 208 pages

Review
‘Contains much the best all-round analysis of the causes of the English Revolution that we have. It synthesizes and makes sense of the research of a whole generation of scholars. It is packed not only with judicious and well-founded generalizations but also with stimulating ideas, expressed with verve and wit.’ – Times Literary Supplement

About the Author
Lawrence Stone was educated at Charterhouse School and Christ Church, Oxford. He was a lecturer at University College, Oxford, from 1947 to 1950, and a Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, from 1950 to 1963. Since 1963 be has been Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University, and Director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, also at Princeton, since 1969. Professor Stone has contributed numerous articles to learned journals and periodicals. His published works include The Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642, Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558-1641, and (editor) Schooling and Society. He is also author of Sculpture in Britain: The Middle Ages, published in The Pelican History of Art series.

John Brewer is Director of the Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Studies and Director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
This isn’t an easy read for the armchair historian
By P.J. Hoffeditz
This isn’t an easy read for the armchair historian. It’s somewhat dull, unless you’re really interested in the English Revolution. Stone is obviously well read and has researched broadly. Unfortunately, his tone is sometimes pedantic and I’m a bit skeptical of his quick and convenient characterization of King James I. If you’re like me, researching the English Revolution for academic purposes, then this should be on your reading list. Take a good look at the footnotes, too– you’ll find lots of material for further reading. If you’re looking for something to read on a cold winter evening while you sip hot cocoa in front of the fire, this probably isn’t it.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
Learning The Lessons Of Revolutionary History
By Alfred Johnson
The last time that the name of Professor Lawrence Stone came up in this space was a review of his magisterial study of the rise and triumph of bourgeois family structure and its mores in England, The Family, Sex And Marriage In England 1500-1800(the study centered on English changes, which as the vanguard of capitalism made a study of the bourgeois family structure quite sensible) from 1500 to 1800 so the good professor is certainly familiar with the period under discussion in this book. The bourgeois family study, some 500 pages, abridged, is contrasted here by a much shorter work of less than two hundred pages. But don’t be thrown off by the shortness of this work, given the expansiveness of the subject, because this is a serious concise work that lays out for the beginner and the more knowledgeable a very nice grab bag of causes for the 17th century English revolution that gives one a jumping off point for further investigation. For the more advanced devotees of the study of the English revolution there are plenty of footnotes and a bibliography at the end that will provide helpful for that further study.

Of course any speculation on the cause or, more correctly, the causes of the English revolution (like any revolution, or other world historic event) is, for the most part, a matter of hindsight, and therefore ready material for an historian’s “cherry-picking” to suit his or her predilections. And also a cause, as in the English case described here by Professor Stone in the first section of the book, for all sorts of “flare-ups” back in the 1950s and 1960s in British academic circles. From such questions as whether the 1640-60 events were even a revolution ( a question pretty much now resolved in favor of revolution) to which class lead and benefited from it to more esoteric questions about whether the gentry (the big landowners, for the most part) benefited from the revolution or not there was something of a field day on this period and Professor Stone seems to have been right in the middle of it along with such English revolution luminaries as Professors Tawney and Trevor-Roper. And as long as it is kept to the academic milieu ( as is the usual situation) such infighting can, and in this case did, produce some useful insights.

After the academic “fireworks” settle down from the first section Professor Stone, in the second and third sections, gets to his laundry list of causes for the revolution, some worth further investigation, some that seem more speculative (like the question of the rise and fall of the gentry, or parts of it, in the rush to revolution). He breaks down the period from 1529 to 1642 into smaller segments in order to separate longer term causes from shorter and more direct causes. Obviously any study of long term trends toward revolution in England in this period has to include changes in agricultural production toward more capitalist methods of growing for the market, the role of demographic spreads and population growth (especially London’s growth) and, probably most importantly, the fall out from the Protestant Reformation as it played out in there. Shorter term reasons include the rise of Puritanism in the wake of the religious and political policies the James I and Charles I regimes, the vast increase in literacy, education, and lay authority in church matters, changes in the legal and state church structure, particularly by Charles I promoting a more authoritarian regime in the face of more democratic church movements, and, as always, the personal factor, of Charles I’s eagerness to shoot himself in the foot every time some controversy came up so that in the end he alienated, and made indifferent or hostile , the elements of society that stool closest to him, especially the merchants and nobility. This is hardly exhaustive of Professor Stone’s presentation but should be enough to whet the appetite.

Of course for revolutionaries, as well as thoughtful historians, the causes of revolution and the pre-revolutionary period are important in their own right. Just as today we can see, even if we cannot right this minute do anything about it, that conditions in America and Europe are ripe for revolution, a socialist revolution, and we can point to unemployment, the gaps between the rich and poor, extensive deindustrialization, cuts in public social welfare budgets and the like as the precursors we can look at the English, French Russian and Chinese revolutions for some insights. The English revolution, as the first great Western one, is particularly important to study because of the links to America and because something in the English-American psyche (at least in the past) has acted almost as a barrier to further revolutions among English-speaking Anglo-American people.

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful.
When reforms turn revolutionary…….
By Gary C. Marfin
In 1640 few supported the dissolution of the monarchy or the House of Lords…The heart of this book is its long chapter on the causes of the English revolution. That revolution, Stone maintains, was in a real sense caused by the dissolution of government (rather than causing its dissolution); that “class” warfare along Marxist explanatory lines is not applicable to the revolution and; that the revolution was more than a reaction to unpopular monarch. He then sets out to identify the long-term, underlying causes of the war and its more proximate catalysts. His discussion of the weak reach of the Tudor bureaucracy and its corresponding lack of credibility as a legal enforcer, and his discussion of the impact of Puritan thought are especially compelling.

The first section of the book surveys the methodological issues involved in explaining revolution. This survey, though somewhat dated by now, still provides useful insights. And, he has a caustic eye for those of his colleagues who prefer an arid, artifically technical jargon over clarity and concise prose.

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