Revolutionizing the New Model Army: Ecclesiastical independence, social justice, and political legitimacy

Polly Ha

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There is no consensus on the precise role of ecclesiastical independents in shaping the revolutionary politics of the New Model Army. This essay explores how they crucially stretched the notion of non-dominating freedom across the social order and applied it more generally to the army’s social and political contexts. It then turns to how this understanding of freedom informed the army’s view of social justice, shaping the soldiers’ particular grievances and material demands. Finally, it considers how the concept of independence also enabled religious apologists for the army to advance new claims to self-authenticating institutional legitimacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-553
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of the History of Ideas
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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