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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter emphasizes the centrality of religious debates and disagreements to the conduct of government under the later Stuarts. The consequences of a narrowly intolerant Church ‘settlement’ in 1662 interacted with the longer-term complexities of the post-Reformation English church-state to ensure considerable instability in public life. After a summary discussion of modern historiography, the chapter turns to examine conflicting ideas of toleration and uniformity in the Restoration period. Attention then shifts to the structures of political life: Royal Supremacy, Parliamentary affairs, the institutional Church, and successive governing ministries. Finally, the chapter examines the central role religion played within the information culture of later seventeenth-century England, especially printed literature. Attention is drawn to the ways in which different religious perspectives powerfully inflected discussions of good government.

Keywords: toleration, persecution, Royal Supremacy, Church of England, Puritanism, Catholicism, printing

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