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England's Culture WarsPuritan Reformation and its Enemies in the Interregnum, 1649-1660$
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Bernard Capp

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641789.001.0001

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Propaganda Wars

Propaganda Wars

(p.59) 4 Propaganda Wars
England's Culture Wars

Bernard Capp

Oxford University Press

The new regime encouraged writers to justify the regicide and the establishment of a commonwealth, and to persuade the nation to live quietly under its authority. It also set out, with considerable success, to secure control of the press. The chapter examines the writers who gave public support to the regime and the arguments they deployed, which ranged from the superiority of a free commonwealth to divine providence, the stars, and the duty of citizens to accept and obey de facto authorities. The chapter also surveys the work of preachers in promoting the reformation of manners, by putting pressure on local magistrates, and the role of pamphleteers in reaching out to a popular audience. It ends with a survey of royalist and anti-puritan counter-propaganda, and offers a reassessment of who won these propaganda wars.

Keywords:   propaganda, the press, providence, reformation of manners

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