Richard Taylor
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The nature of English radicalism
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This introductory chapter defines English radicalism, explains why the focus is upon English rather than British radicalism, and discusses its importance and relevance. The moral bases of the tradition, and the legacy of Nonconformist Christianity, are analysed; and the centrality of a priori beliefs in freedom, equality and the rule of law is discussed. All English radicals, whatever their other differences, believed that extra-parliamentary, social movements were essential, both for the culture and for the political strategy of English radicalism and the reasons for this commitment are discussed. Finally, the characteristics and ideological positions of the ten key figures are noted and the reasons for their selection are explained.

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