The Diggers and the Levellers

Surrey and Hampshire Anarchist Federation

An article written by a blogger called Steven on LibCom about the history of the Diggers also known as the “True Levellers” and the Levellers themselves.

A history of the radical movements the Diggers and the Levellers which sprung up around the English Civil War. The political and social upheaval that resulted from the English Civil War in the seventeenth century [effectively two conflicts between 1642 -1646 and 1647/48] led to the development of a set of radical ideas centred around movements known as ‘Diggers’ and ‘Levellers’

The Diggers [or ‘True Levellers’] were led by William Everard who had served in the New Model Army. As the name implies, the diggers aimed to use the earth to reclaim the freedom that they felt had been lost partly through the Norman Conquest; by seizing the land and owning it ‘in common’ they would challenge what they considered to be the slavery of property…

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