Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England 1603-1689

John Milton
John Milton did not like the ‘rabble’.

A historiographical consensus asserts that in the early modern period democracy was reputed to be the worst form of government. However, this scholarly trend leaves a few major questions unanswered: why was this so? How was criticism of popular government articulated? In what ways did different authors and genres depict the people and their power? Which political concerns and social prejudices informed this anti-democratic paradigm? What is the legacy of such a mindset? Were there any “democrats” avant la lettre back then?

This conference organised by Cesare Cuttica and Markku Peltonen at the University of Erfurt’s Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies on 18-19 July explores how democracy was conceived, viewed and criticised in political, theological and philosophical discourse between the start of King James VI and I’s reign (1603) and the Glorious Revolution (1688–9).

Speakers include: Rachel Hammersley, Martin Dzelzainis, Peter Lake, Camilla Boisen, Phil Withington, Rachel Foxley, John West, Hannah Dawson, Matthew Growhoski, Ted Vallance, Gaby Mahlberg and Alan Cromartie.

You can still register via e-mail by writing to by 30 June 2017.

Download the flyer here.








By thehistorywoman

Historian & journalist.

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