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Between the years 1642 and 1690 there was a great deal of change in the political landscape It was a period of upheaval and development In essence the way the country was ruled during the period went full circle It begins at the end of the reign of Charles I heading through the Puritan regime until the monarchy was restored in 1660 By 1690 the Glorious Revolution had taken place and William of Orange had taken the throne as William III with his wife Mary With regards to political thought and the change of the political picture in England there are several issues that can be discussed It is useful to know in the first instance what the political theories that took shape actually were It is then interesting to take these theories and assess whether they actually relate to the reality Was it theory that led to political change or was it the situation of government that gave rise to the theories This is the main issue that shall be discussed in this essay It is sensible to begin at the beginning of the period in question with the English Civil War The Civil War was a catalyst for political change The 17th century saw the beginning of modern public opinion Bowle 1947 p333 Public opinion is a key factor in the development of a strong political theory If the theory is to have any long-term future it must satisfy the public or face being rejected by the majority This is especially true in a full democracy In the 1640s however the Puritan regime was in a very strong position and full franchise certainly did not exist It is therefore misleading to emphasise the role of public opinion in the creation of political theory during this time The late 1640s were the hey-day of the first political party in the modern sense of the word The Levellers were the first group to have
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