Steven Pincus

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Steven Pincus is the Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of British History at the University of Chicago, where he specializes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British and European history.

Education and career[edit]

In 1990, Pincus received a PhD in history from Harvard University. He is a prominent scholar of Early Modern British history,[1] and his work has focused on the 17th century, in particular the Glorious Revolution and English foreign policy. His book 1688: The First Modern Revolution has been praised as providing "a new understanding of the origins of the modern, liberal state."[2] The Economist named it as one of the best books on history published in 2009.[3] Professor Mark Knights called it "brilliant and provocative," for Pincus argues the revolution of 1688 was the first modern revolution. 1688 was violent and divisive; it represented not a coup or invasion but a popular rejection of the king's absolutist modernisation based on the French Catholic model. The Revolution, Pincus argues, expressed an Anglo-Dutch emphasis on consent of the governed, toleration of different forms of Protestantism, free debate and free commerce.[4] Other reviews were more negative, however. Professor Grant Tapsell of Oxford University said it was "fundamentally flawed in three ways: the argument is most implausible where it is most novel; the evidence used to make the argument is mishandled; and much of the book involves reinventing the wheel due to a bizarrely patchy engagement with existing popular culture."[5]

In March 2010 he delivered the Sir John Neale lecture at University College London. He was in Oxford for the 2010–2011 academic year working on the origins of the British Empire.

Titles and positions[edit]

Selected works[edit]

  • "Popery, Trade and Universal Monarchy: the ideological context of the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Dutch War." English Historical Review (1992): 1-29. in JSTOR
  • "Republicanism, Absolutism, and Universal Monarchy: English Popular Sentiment During the Third Dutch War." in Culture and Society in the Stuart Restoration: Literature, Drama, History, ed. Gerald MacLean (Cambridge, 1995) (1995): 258–9.
  • "'Coffee Politicians Does Create': Coffeehouses and Restoration Political Culture," The Journal of Modern History Vol. 67, No. 4, December 1995.
  • "From butterboxes to wooden shoes: the shift in English popular sentiment from anti-Dutch to anti-French in the 1670s." The Historical Journal 38.2 (1995): 333–361.
  • "The English debate over universal monarchy." A union for empire: political thought and the British Union of 1707 (1995): 37–62.
  • "'To protect English liberties': The English Nationalist Revolution of 1688-1689." in Protestantism and national identity: Britain and Ireland (1998): 75-104.
  • "The Making of a Great Power? Universal Monarchy, Political Economy, and the Transformation of English Political Culture." The European Legacy 5.4 (2000): 531–545.
  • with James A. Robinson. "What really happened during the Glorious Revolution?" No. w17206. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2011. online
  • Pincus, Steven. "A Fight for the Future." History Today 59.10 (2009): 10+



  1. ^ "How England Became Modern - A Revolutionary View". The New York Review of Books. 19 November 2009. Archived from the original on 3 November 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
  2. ^ "England's Revolution". The Economist. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Books of the Year: Page-turners". The Economist. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
  4. ^ Mark Knights, review of 1688: The First Modern Revolution, (review no. 884) online; Date accessed: 2 July 2012
  5. ^ Tapsell, Grant. “NOT SO REVOLUTIONARY.” The Review of Politics, vol. 72, no. 4, 2010, pp. 717–723. JSTOR, Accessed 12 June 2021.

External links[edit]