Gerrard Winstanley – “A New Year’s Gift sent to the Parliament and Army”

Winstanley uses the argument of “the Norman yoke”, claiming that Charles was the inheritor of the ignoble tradition of absolutist rule and the Civil War was the successful attempt to throw off finally the bondage imposed by William the Conqueror. Since it wa the collective effort, to which all the people contributed either in their blood or taxes, it is just to reward them all equally. The people who sit in Parliament (really the representatives of small financial elite which could volte) should now continue the job of freeing the common people, the way they themselves were freed.The Parliament always declared they were fighting for the whole nation, not just to set themselves in king’s place. Winstanley is not a Communist demanding to abolish all private property – he wants landlords to keep their fields, but to divide all waste land, common land and crown land equally among all people, because everybody fought for it, not only the soldiers (I guess there were already plans afoot to reward Cromwell’s soldiers with king’s land.(


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