The Road Not Taken: How Britain Narrowly Missed a Revolution 1381-1926

The Road Not Taken: How Britain Narrowly Missed a Revolution 1381-1926

Frank McLynn

Language: English

Pages: 718

ISBN: 1844135241

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Britain has not been successfully invaded since 1066; nor, in nearly 1,000 years, has it known a true revolution -- one that brings radical, systemic and enduring change. The contrast with her European neighbours -- with France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and Russia -- is dramatic. All have been convulsed by external warfare, revolution and civil war -- all have experienced fundamental change to their ruling elites or their social and economic structures.
In The Road Not TakenFrank McLynn investigates the seven occasions when England came closest to revolution: the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, the Jack Cade rising of 1450, the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, the English Civil War of the 1640s, the Jacobite Rising of 1745-6, the Chartist Movement of 1838-50 and the General Strike of 1926. Mixing narrative and analysis, he vividly recreates each episode and provides compelling explanations of why social turbulence stopped short of revolution.
McLynn takes issue with those who argue that great events do not have great causes -- that they happen not because of some titanic clash of systems -- the bourgeoisie versus the landed aristocracy or the oligarchy versus the gentry -- but because of accident -- the blunders and miscalculations of individual human beings. As well as suggesting causes for these seismic events and reasons for their ultimate collapse, he examines the underlying currents which have allowed England (and, since 1707, Scotland) to enjoy a continuity and stability unknown in almost every other country.

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Their future nemesis, Henry Despenser, a 38-year-old warrior prelate and Bishop of Norwich, made good his escape as the pillaging hordes swept into the city with minimal resistance.75 Litster gave the town over to wholesale sack and rapine, targeting justices of the peace and tax collectors for decapitation. Reginald Eccles, a prominent JP, was one of the first to go to the executioner’s block. Litster devised a scam that seems to have been unique to him, whereby he extorted hefty ransoms from.

Keynes, p. 188. 85. John L. Halstead, ‘The Return to Gold: A Moment of Truth’, Bulletin of the Society for the Study of Labour History, 21 (1970), pp. 35–40; Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes, p. 207. 86. Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes, pp. 187–207 (esp. pp. 203–4, 206). For a dissenting view see K. C. P. Matthews, ‘Was Sterling Overvalued in 1925?’, Economic History Review, 2nd series, 31 (1986), pp. 572–87. For some other views see Barry J. Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital: A History of the.

Archbishop of York involved 3,000 people, not just the diners (clerics, knights, gentry, franklins, yeomen), but those who served them (servants, cooks, waiters, ushers, etc). In a dazzling display of conspicuous consumption the organisers of the feast provided 300 quarters of wheat, 104 oxen, 1,000 sheep, 304 boars and 2,000 pigs, plus thousands of geese, capons, mallards, cranes, chickens and other birds, to say nothing of pasties, tarts and custards.35 The poorest peasants by contrast lived.

Decline from 21 million to just 13 million. While the radical empiricists deny that Europe suffered a general crisis in the seventeenth century – there is a breed of scholar that invariably denies all general manifestations and believes only in unique, minute particulars – the weight of evidence for such a phenomenon is overwhelming. Its principal obvious signs were the revolt against all-powerful and hegemonic Spain by Portugal, Naples and Catalonia in three separate revolts, the Fronde.

Treason but the charges would not stick.20 Parliament then acted just as despotically as Charles by resurrecting the medieval Bill of Attainder, which basically allowed Parliament to put to death anyone it chose without giving further reason, subject only to a simple majority in the Commons. A campaign of intimidation secured the required majority, by 204 to 59. Despite promising Strafford faithfully that he would not allow him to be put to death, Charles weakly gave his assent to the Bill of.

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