November 29, 2020
Barrington Moore has been a very influential scholar with his encompassing analysis of specific countries like England. In his work Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (1967) Moore studied how weakening social interests and political structures played a major role in making the new political order. Capitalist transformation in England caused change in class relations and finally led to democratization in the country.
Moore stated that in England, the peasantry was politically impotent and a strong bourgeoisie was present, and the aristocracy allied itself with the bourgeoisie. In his analysis about England, Moore wrote that the most important condition for transition to democracy was the feudal system heritage. In his book, Moore noted that the feudal system in England and the Civil War (1642-1651) created the economic and social ground that facilitated the transition to democracy.
Moore defined the process in England as “commercialization of agriculture” and argued that this was an important condition for transition to democracy. As a result of this commercialization, landowners became stronger and a bourgeois class was born. According to Moore, as a result of the Civil War, the power of the royal class decreased and the bourgeois class strengthened. Historically, Moore saw transition stages to democracy in England within the framework of the British Civil War and the formation of the “Declaration of Rights”, which restricted the powers of the monarchy.
Based on the above-noted views of Moore, it can be said that, the key events making bourgeois revolution in England possible can be traced to the 17th and 18th Centuries, to the activities of enclosures and the Civil War. Moore regarded a powerful bourgeoisie as a major factor making democratization possible. He explained the peaceful transition to democracy in England within the framework of the “feudal heritage” immanent to British history.
It should be said that, Moore’s approach to democratization can be summarized with the expression of “No bourgeoisie, no democracy.”
Author : Begum Burak