Debating the Revolution: Britain in the 1790s (International Library of Historical Studies)

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9781860649363: Debating the Revolution: Britain in the 1790s (International Library of Historical Studies)
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"The French Revolution gave a fundamental shock to the human intellect through every region of the globe", wrote William Godwin in his "Memoirs of an Author of the Vindication of the Rights of Women". Wordsworth's "The Prelude" was yet more striking: "Twas in truth an hour/Of universal ferment". The late 18th century, especially the 1790s, was a fateful period for Britain and all parts of the world where European influence was felt. The disintegration of French absolutism unleashed a global crisis and vital features of modernism in politics took centre stage - democracy, nationalism, mass military mobilization on a scale later seen in world wars, and even colonial revolt. Chris Evans shows how in Britain the intellectual fury, long fermenting, touched all sectors of society. This study, based on historiography, shows how all these issues were sharpened by the Revolution and how it resulted in widespread if gradual modernization of the British state in the following century.

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Synopsis:

The 1790s was a fateful period for Britain. The French Revolution of 1789 opened an era of seismic political upheaval, one in which many features of the modern world made their first significant appearance. Democracy, mass nationalism, wholesale military mobilisation, and anti-colonial revolt all made their most telling debuts in the revolutionary era. This was not a struggle from which the British could stand aloof. Nor did they. Britons were right at the forefront of the debate over the Revolution. Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France" defended the established order while Tom Paine's "Rights of Man" attacked hereditary privilege and preached democracy. This was no rarefied intellectual debate, it resounded through clubs, taverns, theatres, chapels and assembly rooms. As it did so, Britons were forced to question many constitutional assumptions. Was the possession of an empire compatible with domestic liberty? Did the House of Commons reflect popular opinion or the prejudices of aristocratic patrons? Could they enjoy genuine constitutional liberty if their constitution denied political rights to Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters?

Chris Evans's study, based on the latest historiography, brilliantly demonstrates how these latent intellectual and political anxieties were sharpened by the French Revolution. Loyalist mobilisation, radical agitation, draconian repression, and military confrontation are combined to re-shape British society and the British state.

About the Author:

Chris Evans is Lecturer in History at the University of Glamorgan.

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Book Description I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd., United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The 1790s was a fateful period for Britain. The French Revolution of 1789 opened an era of seismic political upheaval, one in which many features of the modern world made their first significant appearance. Democracy, mass nationalism, wholesale military mobilisation, and anti-colonial revolt all made their most telling debuts in the revolutionary era. This was not a struggle from which the British could stand aloof. Nor did they. Britons were right at the forefront of the debate over the Revolution. Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France" defended the established order while Tom Paine's "Rights of Man" attacked hereditary privilege and preached democracy. This was no rarefied intellectual debate, it resounded through clubs, taverns, theatres, chapels and assembly rooms. As it did so, Britons were forced to question many constitutional assumptions. Was the possession of an empire compatible with domestic liberty? Did the House of Commons reflect popular opinion or the prejudices of aristocratic patrons? Could they enjoy genuine constitutional liberty if their constitution denied political rights to Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters?Chris Evans's study, based on the latest historiography, brilliantly demonstrates how these latent intellectual and political anxieties were sharpened by the French Revolution. Loyalist mobilisation, radical agitation, draconian repression, and military confrontation are combined to re-shape British society and the British state. Seller Inventory # AA79781860649363

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Book Description I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd., United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The 1790s was a fateful period for Britain. The French Revolution of 1789 opened an era of seismic political upheaval, one in which many features of the modern world made their first significant appearance. Democracy, mass nationalism, wholesale military mobilisation, and anti-colonial revolt all made their most telling debuts in the revolutionary era. This was not a struggle from which the British could stand aloof. Nor did they. Britons were right at the forefront of the debate over the Revolution. Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France" defended the established order while Tom Paine's "Rights of Man" attacked hereditary privilege and preached democracy. This was no rarefied intellectual debate, it resounded through clubs, taverns, theatres, chapels and assembly rooms. As it did so, Britons were forced to question many constitutional assumptions. Was the possession of an empire compatible with domestic liberty? Did the House of Commons reflect popular opinion or the prejudices of aristocratic patrons? Could they enjoy genuine constitutional liberty if their constitution denied political rights to Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters?Chris Evans's study, based on the latest historiography, brilliantly demonstrates how these latent intellectual and political anxieties were sharpened by the French Revolution. Loyalist mobilisation, radical agitation, draconian repression, and military confrontation are combined to re-shape British society and the British state. Seller Inventory # AA79781860649363

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