This article argues that peacemaking became a central strand of political debate and practice in England during the 1640s. The traumatic experiences of civil war and the failure of elite politicians to negotiate a swift settlement forced English people to think more than ever before about how peace could be achieved and preserved. Those outside the usual spheres of political decision-making now offered themselves up as mediators between king and parliament and publicized their own schemes for national reconciliation. At the same time, the article shows how those most committed to the Parliamentarian or Royalist cause sought to present themselves as peacemakers. It argues that a crucial issue in these public debates about peace was whether a lasting settlement was more likely to be achieved through negotiation or through a decisive military victory for one side.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2023|