The Economic Causes of the English Civil War: Freedom of Trade and the English Revolution

1st Edition

George Yerby

Published September 5, 2019
Reference - 420 Pages - 19 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367189235 - CAT# K441111
Series: Routledge Research in Early Modern History


Add to Wish List
FREE Standard Shipping!


This is a coordinated presentation of the economic basis of revolutionary change in 16th- and early-17th century England, addressing a crucial but neglected phase of historical development. It traces a transformation in the agrarian economy and substantiates the decisive scale on which this took place, showing how the new forms of occupation and practice on the land related to seminal changes in the general dynamics of commercial activity. An integrated, self-regulating national market generated new imperatives, particularly a demand for a right of freedom of trade from arbitrary exactions and restraints. This took political force through the special status that rights of consent had acquired in England, based on the rise of sovereign representative law following the Break with Rome. These associations were reflected in a distinctive merchant-gentry alliance, seeking to establish freedom of trade and representative control of public finance, through parliament. This produced a persistent challenge to royal prerogatives such as impositions from 1610 onwards. Parliamentary provision, especially legislation, came to be seen as essential to good government. These ambitions led to the first revolutionary measures of the Long Parliament in early 1641, establishing automatic parliaments and the normative force of freedom of trade.

Share this Title