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date: 11 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the relationship between government and the people of England and Wales between 1640 and 1660 in terms of multiple negotiations. It argues that an increased burden of taxation on taxpayers did not necessarily involve a massive expansion in government personnel at local level, but suggests that a concept of citizenship based on the ideals of puritanism and on critiques of honesty, accompanied by heightened perceptions of accountability, is distinctive during these years. A changed pattern of local corruption, given prominence by the voluminous output of the London press, does not invalidate evidence of continuity of institutions such as juries and the resilience of common law process in local governance. It is argued that the period was one in which enhanced civic consciousness should be set against historical accounts that conclude that the English revolution was a failure at local level.

Keywords: accountability, negotiation, citizenship, corruption, taxation, puritanism, juries

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