The Levellers and the English Revolution, 1648–1649
The stories of civilian Levellers and disgruntled soldiers during and after the 1648 resumption of civil war were entangled but distinct. The Levellers’ promotion of consensual government through the petition of 11 September 1648 was long remembered. Levellers and radical soldiers alike opposed parliamentary negotiations for settlement through a treaty with Charles I. The army grandees acceded to Leveller participation in their efforts to achieve settlement, but after the army’s purge of parliament, Levellers and army officers produced different versions of an Agreement of the People. As the English Revolution took institutional shape following the trial and execution of the king, the proclamation of the Commonwealth, and the failure of the Rump Parliament to implement an Agreement, the Levellers worked for truly representative government.