The Tudor revolution
May 2023 › Forums › General discussion › The Tudor revolution
Tagged: tudor threshold rev
- This topic has 313 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 6 months ago by LBird.
September 29, 2020 at 6:57 pm #207361AnonymousInactive
You are interpreting the word “revolution” solely in the narrow sense of a political uprising. I am using the word socio-economically.
Politically, 1485 marks the end of the old nobility’s power. The power is subsumed by the king, who abolishes private liveries and private armies, and crushes all noble revolts.
Henry VIII gives the former feudal estates to hangers-on, who enclose and use it as capitalists. A rural bourgeoisie thus controls the land.
Some of these will join the urban bourgeoisie and smaller gentry in the bid to crush the royal monopoly in 1642, others will remain loyal to the king.
The royalist rural bourgeoisie will be humbled in the civil war by the parliamentary forces representing other levels of the bourgeoisie, and the proto-proletarian elements who seek to push parliament further. But long-dead feudalism isn’t represented.
Charles does aspire to the autocratic power of the Tudors before him, and, like his father, comes from a backward Scottish reality. His base is increasingly foreign.
Parliament itself is then closed – by the proletarian element forcing Cromwell to do so. He then turns on them, and consolidates the rule of the petit-bourgeois Puritans, which is then done away with by the bourgeoisie as a whole, who invite Charles’ son back to rule. The regicides are executed. Cromwell is hanged in effigy. The bourgeoisie let the petit-bourgeoisie stage their disastrous reblion in 1685, and then expel James II and institute finally the political settlement of 1688. The same Tudor usurper families hold the English countryside, and still do.September 29, 2020 at 8:34 pm #207368Bijou DrainsParticipant
So effectively T M, you are saying (very roughly) Henry 8th took the role of Stalin (Crown ownership = State Ownership, dissolution of the monastries = collectivisation of farms) with Cromwell taking on the role of Putin (dividing the crown/state spoils amongst his cronies)September 29, 2020 at 9:36 pm #207373WezParticipant
‘You are interpreting the word “revolution” solely in the narrow sense of a political uprising. I am using the word socio-economically.’
You are sounding more and more like the historians who wish to dismiss the class struggle and the revolutions that they provoke. The Tudors just got lucky at the Battle of Bosworth and were no different from any other aristocratic dynasty trying to consolidate their power. Usurpation was deriguour in the ceaseless power struggles between different aristocratic families. I can see that we will never agree about this but can’t you see that your playing into the hands of the gradualists and reformers politically?September 29, 2020 at 10:22 pm #207374L.B. NeillParticipant
Before, during and after the Tudor era- the use of power has continuities, and traces: a genealogy of its own parentage- and it sires the ownership and accumulation of wealth, legitimizing its own authority. Call it feudalist, call it the Rule of the Rump, call it the early modern state.
The ethical differentiation of Western social formations into ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’ beings has been around a long time, and the modern period was contingent on those traces and powerful apex elites (be it royal or oligarch, or capital) having to ‘let in some, and not let in the many to its structural and institutional power.
I have always observed in social, economic and political power the same concentration of power into a ruling few.
The current use of ‘unities of discourse’ between the liberal and the conservative owes its traces back to the ‘letting in some’ to its power club. They are troublesome siblings who quarrel over their possessions- and unite if their shoeless little cousins (bonded and enslaved) even dare call on the scientific change that lay ahead- ending the traces of this division of greater: lessor beings and the hoarding of ‘things’.
I know I have deviated from a historiography on the Tudor: but that genealogy of possession and power in the few- and the unity of discourse in its modern formation is a continuity (but with newer agents or political actors)- it has a threshold and it has a point of rupture. It seems a Tudor Revolution just means more of the same- but more centralised.
Sorry for being a little vague,
September 29, 2020 at 10:59 pm #207376AnonymousInactive
- This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by L.B. Neill.
“There doesn’t appear to be an online version of the book L Bird recommends.”
There’s a Kindle version here which can be read (using a Free App) on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.September 30, 2020 at 3:27 am #207379
There is as a good article on this in the Socialist Standard of August 2011:
Ellen Meskins Wood gets more than a mention as does Robert Brenner.September 30, 2020 at 7:09 am #207387AnonymousInactive
Henry, Bijou (and he loved jewels!), definitely filled Stalin’s role. But no, unlike Putin (who is just a capitalist politician), Oliver Cromwell and the Generals were revolutionaries: representing the urban bourgeoisie and smaller gentry. The proto-proletarians wanted these to go further. The civil war was part of the revolution which began with Henry. The bourgeoisie were not united.September 30, 2020 at 7:14 am #207390AnonymousInactive
Wez, if you think the Tudors left England the same in 1603 as it had been in 1485, then, well …September 30, 2020 at 7:15 am #207391AnonymousInactive
The Tudors built the English nation-state. The nation-state is an edifice of capitalism.September 30, 2020 at 7:26 am #207393
Wouldn’t Henry be more Peter the Great than Stalin with Cromwell as Lenin?September 30, 2020 at 7:48 am #207396AnonymousInactive
Peter the Great did not destroy the peasantry, evicting them en masse, in a post-feudal Russia.September 30, 2020 at 7:50 am #207397AnonymousInactive
So Wez, you must think the bourgeoisie led the revolutions in Japan, Russia and China?September 30, 2020 at 8:35 am #207398LBirdParticipant
Thomas More wrote: “So Wez, you must think the bourgeoisie led the revolutions in Japan, Russia and China?”
Thomas, if you haven’t already read it, you might be interested in:
Revolution from above: Military Bureaucrats and Development in Japan, Turkey, Egypt, and Peru by Ellen Kay Trimberger (1978)September 30, 2020 at 8:39 am #207399
Ok but what about Alexander II who decreed the end of serfdom in Russia then, a precondition for the development of capitalism there? And of course capitalism did develop in Russia from that point to the extent that in 1899 Lenin could write a book about it.
I don’t think anyone denies that capitalism had to begin to have developed before a group emerged that aimed at winning control of political power to remove obstacles to the further development of capitalism. In fact part of the development of capitalism was to bring into being such a group. That’s part of the materialist conception of history.
I know we speak of the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, the Neolithic revolution, etc but this is to describe a complete change that took place over a longish period of time. The distinction you are drawing between “socio-economic revolution” and “political revolution ” is really a distinction between “socio-economic evolution” and “political revolution”.
”Revolution” in the political sense refers to a change in those who control political power and takes place fairly quickly in a relatively short period of time. Hence the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the French Revolution (as they were known at the time), the Russian Revolution and, posthumously, the English Revolution.
I think Wez has a point when he says that, to refer to the longish period of socio-economic evolution that precedes and culminates in a political revolution as the revolution, gives credence to those who think that socialism could come into being gradually without the need for a political revolution (conscious capture of political power by a socialist-minded working class). Obviously this isn’t your view but how would you refute a gradualist reformist who did think this?September 30, 2020 at 9:24 am #207401AnonymousInactive
“The enclosure movement in England is one example of agricultural capitalism.”
“The enclosers – the men who made their land into pastures for sheep – were capitalists. They employed labor, produced for an international market, and reaped the profits.”
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