LEVELLERS: Levellers were a group with ideas based more on reason than on 
spirituality. They believed in equality, and argued for the leveling, or 
equalizing, of the social conditions of all people. They advocated democracy, 
freedom of religion, and universal voting rights for men. Early proponents of 
“one man, one vote,” they were the first group to advocate extending voting 
rights to men who did not own land. They practiced what Leveller leader Richard 
Overton called “Practical Christianity”–direct action against all forms of 
oppression. Many soldiers of Cromwell’s New Model Army, disappointed that the 
social change they had fought for did not come about under Cromwell’s rule, 
became Levellers. The ideas of the Levellers were threatening to the rich and 
privileged classes, and to all landowners.



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