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Levellers

The Levellers were a heterogeneous group of English radicals, many of a quasilibertarian bent, who, as an organized movement, were briefly active during the tumultuous years of the English Civil War (1642–1649). The movement surfaced in the summer of 1645, became a vocal popular party in 1646, and, for all practical purposes, disappeared as an organized movement during the fall of 1649. Its most prominent spokesmen were John Lilburne (1615–1657), Richard Overton (1631–1664), and William Walwyn (1600–1681).

As a political movement, the Leveller party's initial concerns centered on religious issues, first and foremost the demand for religious freedom and separation of state and church. These demands were soon taken up by ordinary citizens and soldiers who opposed the Church of England, the House of Lords, and ...

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