Publisher description for Popular politics and the English Reformation / Ethan H. Shagan


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Counter This book is a study of popular responses to the English Reformation. It takes as its subject not the conversion of English subjects to a new religion but rather their political responses to a Reformation perceived as an act of state and hence, like all early modern acts of state, negotiated between government and people. These responses included not only resistance but also significant levels of accommodation, co-operation and collaboration as people attempted to co-opt state power for their own purposes. This study argues, then, that the English Reformation was not done to people, it was done with them in a dynamic process of engagement between government and people. As such, it answers the twenty-year-old scholarly dilemma of how the English Reformation could have succeeded despite the inherent conservatism of the English people, and it presents the first genuinely post-revisionist account of one of the central events of English history.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Great Britain Politics and government 1509-1547, Christianity and politics Great Britain History 16th century, Great Britain Politics and government 1547-1553, Public opinion England History 16th century, Populism England History 16th century, Reformation England