Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)
Professor Wrightson reviews the basic structures and aims of popular protest: notably food riots and agrarian disturbances. He notes that such disturbances were often surprisingly orderly affairs, rather than chaotic expressions of discontent. They aimed to defend traditional rights (rooted in custom) that participants felt were being threatened, either by food shortages or by agrarian changes such as enclosure. The forms taken by such events reveal a coherent moral order. Professor Wrightson reviews the tactics employed by protestors and the ways in which they constituted attempts to negotiate with authority. Official responses were often equally restrained (although the government was capable in some situations of displaying real severity). He concludes by noting that these forms of early modern popular protest were fundamentally political in nature, and that while agrarian resistance gradually subsided, these defenses of popular custom and rights influenced early forms of labor organization from the late seventeenth century onwards.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Riot
18:21 - Chapter 2. Ritualism
21:38 - Chapter 3. Legitimizing Ideas
29:01 - Chapter 4. Riot as a Tactic
37:50 - Chapter 5. Riot as Un-political
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
Tagged under: riot,rebellion,rising,enclosure,dearth,Fenland riots,Midland' rising,Kett' Rebellion,moral economy,brinkmanship
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