The Representative of the People?
Voters and Voting in England under the Early Stuarts
By (author) Derek Hirst
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Representative of the People? by Derek Hirst
Book DescriptionContested elections became a fact of political life for the first time in early-17th-century England as the gentry pressed for seats in a parliament which was growing increasingly important. Dr Hirst examines politics from the point of view of the ordinary man before the Civil War. He asks what an election and being represented meant: what kind of person voted; how did he vote and why; and what might he gain by it. England was not yet shaped in the oligarchic mould that characterised it in the 18th century, and a striking feature of this period was the extent to which parliamentary politics was open to a large social group. Inflation and peasant survival on the land, and resistance to oligarchy in the boroughs (supported by the parliamentary gentry seeking popular allies for their own political battles), produced a broad rural and urban electorate. The need for votes also ensured that members were relatively responsive to, and representative of, pressures from below. In arriving at this verdict, Dr Hirst challenges the notion that politics in this period displayed a strong sense of direction. At all levels, whether in the means of control employed by the magnates, in electoral procedure, or in voting behaviour, uncertainty was manifest, for contests were unprecedented.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521019880
(228mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 15-Sep-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Derek Hirst
Andrew Marvell, Orphan of the Hurricane, Hardback (June 2012)
Andrew Marvell, Orphan of the Hurricane studies the poetry and polemics of one of the greatest of early modern writers, a poet of immense lyric talent and political importance. The book situates Marvell and his writings within the patronage networks and political upheavals of mid seventeenth-century England.
Dominion, Hardback (March 2012)
A rich narrative history of England's increasing dominance over the territories that became known as the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from the reign of Henry VII through to the Act of Union of 1707.
Cambridge Companion to Andrew Marvell, Paperback (December 2010)
A set of specially commissioned essays forming a fresh understanding of the poet within his time and place.
Writing and Political Engagement in Seventeenth-century England, Paperback (January 2009)» View all books by Derek Hirst
This volume, first published in 2000, illuminates the complex issues of 'public' and 'private', 'art' and 'conscience' in the period.
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