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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Religious debate was central to the revolutionary politics of the 1640s and 1650s. One area of disagreement between Charles I and the Long Parliament concerned the nature and structure of the English national Church: whether bishops should be abolished in line with the Calvinist reformed Churches of the continent and if the religious changes of Charles’ Personal Rule were legal. From 1640 puritan demands for religious reform led to a proliferation of modes of worship ranging from Scottish-style Presbyterianism to independent congregations headed by charismatic local leaders who generated fears of heresy. The civil war sects were so loosely organized that most did not survive the Restoration of 1660, when the re-establishment of the episcopal Church 1660 was welcomed by the Royalists. However, a powerful legacy of religious dissent allowed groups such as the Quakers and Baptists to persist and flourish.

Keywords: episcopacy, Presbyterian, independent, Baptists, Quakers, Ranters, heresy, Puritanism, parliament, war

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