Early modern British and Irish history is marked by a succession of fascinating radical movements, ideologies and events. From Kett’s rebellion, the Family of Love and Baptists, through to Levellers, Quakers and Whigs; from millenarians and mystics to those who believed in free grace, community of goods and even wives; from debates over forms of government, issues of sovereignty and natural rights, through to advocates of revolution and regicide, each was radical in the sense that it challenged fundamental political, religious or social axioms of its day. Yet significant questions remain. How useful are the terms ‘radical’ and ‘radicalism’ and should we persist with them? Can we speak of a ‘radical tradition’? Was radicalism a local, national or transnational phenomenon?
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