Agreement of the People

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  • Intro

    During the English Civil War of 1642–1651, the overthrow of the King saw the need for a peace agreement that could be used as a constitution for the new-look England. This proposal, known as the Agreement of the People, came from extremists in the army, known as the Agitators, and their allies, the Levellers – the first communist movement. The agreement proposed among other things freedom of worship, equality for all men under the law, the right to vote for all men aged 21 and over, except servants, beggars or Royalists and the abolition of the death penalty except for murder. The agreement itself was a large vellum document – a kind of fine calfskin parchment – probably paraded through London. It was eventually set aside because of the execution of the King. Nearly all its points would eventually be achieved, but not for nearly 300 years.

     

    Shelfmark: Egerton 1048, f.91

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