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Dangerous TalkScandalous, Seditious, and Treasonable Speech in Pre-Modern England$
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David Cressy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199564804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564804.001.0001

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Revolutionary Seditions

Revolutionary Seditions

(p.189) 8 Revolutionary Seditions
Dangerous Talk

David Cressy

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the sentiments in the revolutionary decades of the mid-17th century, and shows seditious language reverberating against parliament and Protector Cromwell. The revolutionary crisis of 1640–1642 and the Civil War that followed, energised a thousand conversations. Fed by the newly freed press, and driven by extraordinary events, a politicised populus gorged on rumour and opinion. Royal authority was in tatters on the eve of the Civil War, but the emerging power of parliament commanded no greater respect. As the House of Commons swelled in ambition, it became the target of derisory popular comment. As military leaders became public figures, they too attracted adulation or scorn. Popular royalism and support for parliament were both noisy and unstable, swelling and shifting as the crisis unfolded. As the English revolution unraveled, the collapsing regime issued proclamations against the disturbers of the government but it was not successful in silencing dangerous talk.

Keywords:   Cromwell, revolutionary sedition, Civil War, English revolution, derision, royalism

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