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Radical Republicanism in England, America, and the Imperial Atlantic, 1624-1661

Donoghue, John (2006) Radical Republicanism in England, America, and the Imperial Atlantic, 1624-1661. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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RADICAL REPUBLICANISM IN ENGLAND, AMERICA, AND THE IMPERIAL ATLANTIC, 1624-1661 John Donoghue, Ph.D.University of Pittsburgh, April 30, 2006This dissertation links the radical politics of the English Revolution to the history of puritan New England. It argues that antinomians, by rejecting traditional concepts of social authority, created divisive political factions within the godly party while it waged war against King Charles I. At the same time in New England, antinomians organized a political movement that called for a democratic commonwealth to limit the power of ministers and magistrates in religious and civil affairs. When this program collapsed in Massachusetts, hundreds of colonists returned to an Old England engulfed by civil war. Joining English antinomians, they became lay preachers in London, New Model Army soldiers, and influential supporters of the republican Levellers. This dissertation also connects the study of republican political thought to the labor history of the first British Empire. Although intellectual historians of the English Revolution often explore classical, renaissance and religious sources to explain political thinking, they regularly neglect the material contexts, in England and elsewhere, where political ideas took shape. The world of the university, the halls of Parliament, and the rank-and-file of the New Model Army inspired republicanism, but so too, dialectically, did the new worlds of colonial courts, plantations, and imperial armadas. As the English Revolution gave birth to the first British Empire, the circulation of experience between the old and new worlds transformed port cities like Boston, London, and Bridgetown into ideological entrepôts, where radical networks forged republican programs during a period of revolutionary upheaval. Confronting slavery, the destruction of Native American societies, and impressment for imperial wars in Ireland and the West Indies, radicals created a language of practical Christian liberty that defined the abolition of coerced labor as a principle of republican justice. Ultimately, the dissertation argues that labor history can illuminate the intellectual history of a trans-national political movement organized for, and often by, the working classes of the seventeenth-century imperial Atlantic.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRediker, Marcusred1@pitt.eduRED1
Committee MemberGreenberg, Janellejanelleg@pitt.eduJANELLEG
Committee MemberScott, Jonathanjos15@pitt.eduJOS15
Committee MemberFusfield, Williamfusroy@pitt.eduFUSROY
Date: 6 July 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 December 2005
Approval Date: 6 July 2006
Submission Date: 27 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Atlantic history-seventeenth century
Other ID:, etd-04272006-132031
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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