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A Single Eye As An Attack on Puritanism

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A Single Eye As An Attack on Puritanism

The seventeenth century was a tumultuous time in England; rife with

revolution she saw her governmental system, religious affairs and

legal code completely overhauled. All across Europe this type of

change was common, but England's changes were brought about largely by

the influences of and reactions to a variation of Calvinist

Protestantism known as Puritanism. Its followers clashed violently

with the Anglican establishment in a civil war and by 1650 the

Puritans had gained power over the Anglican monarchists. Executing

Charles I, Oliver Cromwell took the helm of the nation placing Puritan

values center stage[1]. Puritan morality, strict adherence to the

scriptures and rigid belief in predestination encountered active

resistance, inspiring counter-revolutions in thought that would put

freedom at the forefront of the English consciousness. Representing

the extreme of society's reaction to Puritan faith a group known as

the Ranters[2] emerged, publishing pamphlets that attacked the

fundamental tenets of Puritanism. Lawrence Clarkson, a frontrunner

among the Ranters, achieved infamy after having published a pamphlet

entitled A Single Eye, which was so radical that it landed him in

jail. A Single Eye is best understood as a response to Puritanism, a

reaction to the oppressive nature of Puritan faith, with the intention

to invoke the secularization of England.

The basic purpose of the pamphlet is to disseminate revolutionary

ideals, blatantly attacking the validity of puritan beliefs. At the

outset Clarkson insists that the English "supposeth God to be that

which is not, and that not to be, wh...

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...e Eye. 7

[9] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 8

[10] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 8

[11] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 9

[12] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 9

[13] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 2

[14] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 10

[15] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 10

[16] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 10

[17] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 11

[18] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 11

[19] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 11

[20] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 12

[21] http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/puritani.htm

[22] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 14

[23] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 14

[24] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 15

[25] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 15

[26] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 16

[27] Clarkson. A Single Eye. 16

[28] Hill. The Experience of Defeat. 38

[29]

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/goldman/aando/puritanism.html
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