The Putney Debates, 1647 (conference)

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For more past programming from the Folger Institute, please see the article Folger Institute scholarly programs archive.

This was a fall 1997 conference led by Michael Mendle of the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Speakers included Gerald Aylmer (St. Peter's College, Oxford), Patricia Crawford (University of Western Australia), Barbara Donagan (Huntington Library), Tim Harris (Brown University), William Lamont (University of Sussex), Lesley Le Claire (Worcester College, Oxford), John Morrill (Selwyn College, Cambridge), J.G.A. Pocock (Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University), Gordon J. Schochet (Rutgers University), Lois G. Schwoerer (emeritus, George Washington University), Barbara Taft (Washington, D.C.), Austin Woolrych (Emeritus, University of Lancaster), and Blair Worden (University of Sussex).

From 28 October through 1 November 1647, Oliver Cromwell, his son-in-law Henry Ireton, and other officers of the New Model army met with activists among the troops to discuss An Agreement of the People, a Leveller plan for a radically different English government than had ever been known: one without a king and house of lords, and with a parliament elected on the basis of universal manhood suffrage, or something close to it. This international conference, one of the Center for the History of British Political Thought programs, celebrated the 350th anniversary of these debates. Papers addressed the political, cultural, religious, and military setting of the debates, the debates themselves, and the legacy of the debates and of Leveller activism for the Restoration, for collateral issues such as political participation by women, and for later historiography.

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