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An agitator is a person who actively supports some ideology or movement with speeches and especially actions. The Agitators were a political movement and elected representatives of soldiers, including the New Model Army of Oliver Cromwell, during the English Civil War. They were also known as adjutators. Many of the ideas of the movement were later adopted by the Levelers.

English Agitators

The practice began in 1647 when the Long Parliament wanted to either disband the armies or send them to Ireland. Most soldiers opposed this. Eight of the cavalry regiments elected representatives they called commissioners, who presented the soldiers' complaints, including the fact that their payments were eight weeks late. On April 3, 1647, their letter was read in the House of Commons. Before the generals could return to London, parliament again decided to disband the army and set June 1 as the date that would happen.

Following the example of the Ironsides, other units followed suit and foot soldiers elected Agitators. The Agitators, with two officers from each regiment and the Generals formed a new body called the Army Council which after a meeting near Newmarket, Suffolk on Friday 4 June 1647 issued "A Solemne Engagement of the Army, under the Command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax" to Parliament on 8 June making their concerns known, and also the constitution of the Army Council so that Parliament would understand that the discontent was army-wide and had the support of both officers and other ranks. This Engagement was read out to the army at a general meeting on 5 June.

A few weeks later, there was another meeting at while the army was camped at Thriplow Heath near Royston, the soldiers refused the offers made by Parliament, and the agitators demanded a march towards London and the "purging" of the House of Commons.

See also

References

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also agitator

Contents

German

Etymology

Latin agito

Noun

Agitator m. (genitive Agitators, plural Agitatoren)

  1. agitator

Synonyms

  • Aufwiegler

Related terms

  • agitieren
  • aufwiegeln

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