The eighteenth century was long deemed ‘the classical age of the constitution’ in Britain, with cabinet government based on a two-party system of Whigs and Tories in Parliament, and a monarchy whose powers had been emasculated by the Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689. This study furthers the work of Sir Lewis Namier, who, in 1929, argued that no such party system existed, George III was not a cypher, and that Parliament was an administration composed of factions and opposition. George III is a high-profile and well-known character in British history, whose policies have often been blamed for the loss of Britain's American colonies, around whom rages a perennial dispute over his aims: was he seeking to restore royal power or merely exercising his constitutional rights? This is a chronological survey of the first ten years of his reign through power politics and policy making.
This book explores the life, thought and political commitments of the free-thinker John Toland (1670–1722). Studying both his private archive and published works, it illustrates how he moved in both subversive and elite political circles in England and abroad. The book explores the connections between Toland's republican political thought and his irreligious belief about Christian doctrine, the ecclesiastical establishment and divine revelation, arguing that far from being a marginal and insignificant figure, he counted queens, princes and government ministers as his friends and political associates. In particular, Toland's intimate relationship with the Electress Sophia of Hanover saw him act as a court philosopher, but also as a powerful publicist for the Hanoverian succession. The book argues that he shaped the republican tradition after the Glorious Revolution into a practical and politically viable programme, focused not on destroying the monarchy but on reforming public religion and the Church of England. It also examines how Toland used his social intimacy with a wide circle of men and women (ranging from Prince Eugene of Savoy to Robert Harley) to distribute his ideas in private. The book explores the connections between his erudition and print culture, arguing that his intellectual project was aimed at compromising the authority of Christian ‘knowledge’ as much as the political power of the Church. Overall, it illustrates how Toland's ideas and influence impacted upon English political life between the 1690s and the 1720s.
Chapter 5 is concerned with Paul de Rapin de Thoyras’s Histoire d’Angleterre (1724–27), a work which drew on Parliamentarian and Whig ideas to provide a complete history of England from the Roman invasion to the Glorious Revolution. The discussion opens by exploring the historiographical background to Rapin’s writing in Huguenot thought before moving on to look at his analysis of Tudor and Stuart history. Rapin, it is argued, adapted and developed earlier accounts in order to emphasise that a moderate form of Whig constitutionalism had a greater capacity to promote commerce and sound financial management than any absolutist alternative. The chapter concludes by examining Nicholas Tindal’s English translation of the Histoire, a rendering of the text that both popularised Rapin’s work and, through the use of paratextual material, questioned some of the historiographical assumptions on which it was based.
one of three ways: finding new mines at home or abroad, trading goods and services with other nations in exchange for gold and silver, or plundering it from others. Fourth, due to England’s geography, it avoided much of the constant and expensive warfare experienced on the continent in the early modern era. However, England too engaged in foreign battles and was therefore in constant need of money to finance its conquests and conflicts and to satisfy the desire of its ruling class for more money, wealth, and power (Brewer 1989). Up until the Glorious Revolution of
By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.
of the compound structure of political and religious culture after the Glorious Revolution. Historians have debated for many years whether 1689 was a watershed in the creation of the modern world, or merely another ‘restoration’ of ancien regime constitutions in Church and State. Whether insisting that British culture stood on the brink of modernity, or that the nation was not so much transformed as secured, it is clear that one of the major issues of public and private life was the status and role of religion in political culture.9 Far from ending debates about
prints in the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam: RP-P-OB-67.726 and RP-P-1907–2650; as well as De Hooghe’s allegorical prints on John III Sobieski’s victories over the Ottomans in the Teylers Museum Haarlem: KG 06593 and KG 06571. 48 Hale, ‘Romeyn de Hooghe and the Birth of Political Satire’, p. 3. 49 In 1689, a copy of De Hooghe’s koningsbrief was printed with a partly revised text to serve as an Orangist commentary on the Glorious Revolution. Only the first eight figures were renamed to refer to the Glorious Revolution; the other eight kept their original
set standards and direct outcomes. And in some instances the courts attempted to discover ‘the mischief’ that was behind the legislative enactment in order that the common law should provide a remedy. The early case law is rich in the adoption of modes of interpretation to fit the circumstances of the case. The revolution culminating in Parliament’s victory over the Crown in the ‘Glorious Revolution’ (1688) came as the courts recognized the authority of parliament and its ultimate law-making authority. This provided the judges with the dominant paradigm of
a series of exchanges with some of Europe’s foremost economic thinkers, among them Josiah Tucker, Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, André Morellet and Adam Smith.4 The idea for a history, meanwhile, had first been mooted by Hume in the second half of the 1740s. Work began in the late summer of 1752 and the first volume, covering the reigns of James I and Charles I, was published as The History of Great Britain in the autumn of 1754.5 Hume added a second volume in 1757, extending the narrative up to the Glorious Revolution, while 1759 saw the publication of the two
industries at home. In the process, inhabitants of the British Isles witnessed a series of upheavals. First was constant warfare abroad: the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the Thirty Years War which England joined in 1618, the three Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 1650s, 1660s and 1670s, the Nine Years War that followed the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the ensuing War of Spanish Succession. 11 Though fought abroad, these wars nevertheless expanded government debts and put unprecedented fiscal pressures upon the