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the Levellers a 17th century group for political reform in England The Levellers were a 17th-century English political group During the English Revolution pushed the Levellers for an extention of the right to vote and also government reforms based on undeniable individual rights and the principle of governmental power based upon public mandate The Levellers first figured as a distinct group in 1647 during the conflict between King Charles I and Parliament The Levellers enjoyed wide-spread support in the army Headed by political agitator John Lilburne the Levellers presented to their commander a petition The Case of the Armie Truly Stated calling for the dissolution of Parliament and for changes in the structure of future parliaments In the same year Levellers in several regiments ordered to Ireland mutinied on the ground that no soldier should serve abroad without his consent The movement was suppressed in 1653 and the political influence of the group faded Known by their emblem a sea-green ribbon the Levellers anticipated the philosophical ideas of the American Revolution in many respects Their philosophy expressed in a pamphlet by Lilburne The Foundations of Freedom or an Agreement of the People was presented to Parliament in 1649 The philosophy had three principal tenets the existence of certain inalterable rights of man beyond the jurisdiction of any government the idea that governmental authority derived from the people and the doctrine of separation of powers directed especially against the contention that the Law makers should be Law executors The Levellers advocated a representative assembly to meet biannually based on a redistribution of seats according to density of population and with the franchise extending to all Englishmen 21 years of age or over and wealthy enough to be housekeepers They also urged abolition of capital punishment for all crimes except murder The Levellers are sometimes confused with the Diggers a strongly religious and pacifist group that advocated the abolition of private ownership of land History of
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