Part III conclusion
Part III conclusion
What, then, are we to make of this account of the coming of the civil war to Cheshire? On the one hand, both the continuing salience and eventual dissolution of the patriot world-view and connection can be taken as proof positive, first, of the continuities linking the run-in to the civil war with the political culture of the 1620s and, second, of the discontinuities that ultimately separated the one period from the other. To deal with the continuities first, clearly the Wilbraham/Booth/Grosvenor group maintained its coherence – both ideological and social – until the very last moment. Throughout the crisis these men applied essentially the same assumptions about the nature of the polity – about how, ideally, it should work and what might be going wrong if it did not – that had guided their conduct and made their political reputations as patriots and fathers of the country during the 1620s. While those attitudes ensured that they did not like the policies of the Personal Rule, they did not, however, lead anything like directly to what we might term parliamentarian activism or partisanship. They led instead to a form of neutralism. But this was not a localist neutralism; indeed it was not properly neutralism at all but, rather, accommodationism, a desire for a settlement between moderate men on both sides, to be wrought on the basis of the Patriots’ vision of how the polity should function. And that vision was anything but a localist one; its basic unit was not the county community and its basic expression was not the move to exclude conflict from an always already united county. Rather, the political world-view of the middle group was organised around the interaction between local and central interests, groups and institutions, in particular parliament, and centred on the restoration of good relations between crown and subject, to be brought about through the representation of local opinions and grievances in parliament. Throughout, their actions were concentrated on influencing both the crown ...
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