The Army Revolt of 1647

  • J. S. Morrill


IN order to win the civil war, Parliament had to trample on those very susceptibilities and conventional political wisdoms which it went to war to protect. The parliamentarian propaganda of 1642 is drenched in the language of civil liberties: of freedom from arbitrary taxation; from arbitrary imprisonment; from misguided paternalism; and from the centralizing tendencies of early Stuart monarchy. The dream-world of many Parliamentarians, particularly in the provinces, was of a well-ordered state comprising semiautonomous local communities meeting common problems, and seeking powers to answer local needs, through free parliaments under the general regulation of a monarch whose role was that of chief justiciar and arbiter. Instead, as I have argued in a recent book, Parliament was forced to break with all the cherished nostrums conjured up by their propaganda. They fought to protect a herd of sacred cows each of which was slaughtered to propitiate the god of war. Unprecedented fiscal demands were met by a massive invasion of property rights; rights of habeas corpus and trial by jury were swept aside by a massive introduction of droit administratif; billeting of troops, free quarter, martial law were soon widely in force.


Order Book Executive Action Habeas Corpus Maimed Soldier Standing Army 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Morrill

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