This authoritative "Companion to eighteenth-century Britain" includes essays by nearly forty experts from the UK, Europe, the United States and Canada. It introduces students, teachers and general readers to the developments that led to Britain becoming a great world power, the leading European imperial state, and, at the same time, the most economically and socially advanced, politically liberal and religiously tolerant nation in Europe. The volume examines political developments including the founding of the constitution and political system in 1688 and the development of the party political system. It describes economic and social developments in the towns and country which signalled the advent of 'modern' society and the cultural advances in the arts, philosophy and the press which greatly interested other European nations.The book also reminds readers that religion remained a powerful force and preoccupation throughout this period and covers the discussions over religious tolerance. There is also a section on the creation of the United Kingdom from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and the serious divisions that still remained.
Finally, the book reveals how Britain became a world power, developing and then losing one empire in America but soon acquiring another in India. This Companion is based on recent research and clearly presents the current state of knowledge and interpretation, demonstrating why this period has recently attracted new scholarly initiatives and historical enquiries. This superb work by leading historian of the period provides a series of introductions to the most important themes for study."The authors bring the most up to date scholarship to bear in their work. Readable, sensible, perceptive and intelligent. If there is one book to use for this century, this is it" -"Archives Book Reviews".
H. T. Dickinson is Richard Lodge Professor of British History at Edinburgh University. He is a former President of the Historical Association and a former Vice President of the Royal Historical Society. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond. His numerous books include British Radicalism and the French Revolution 1789-1815 (1985), Caricatures and the Constitution 1760-1832 (1986) and The Politics of the People in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1995). He was also editor of the journal History from 1993 to 2000.
List of Maps. List of Contributors. Introduction. Maps. Part I: Politics and the Constitution. 1. British Constitution (H.T. Dickinson) 2. The British State (Eckhart Hellmuth) 3. Finance and Taxation (Patrick Karl O'Brien) 4. Local Government and Local Society (David Eastwood) 5. Parliament, Parties and Elections (1688-1760) (Brian Hill) 6. Parliament, Parties and Elections (1760-1815) (Stephen M. Lee) 7. The Jacobite Movement (Daniel Szechi) 8. Popular Politics and Radical Ideas (H.T. Dickinson) 9. The Crisis of the French Revolution (Emma Vincent Macleod) Part II: The Economy and Society. 10. Manufacturing and Commerce (John Rule) 11. Agriculture and Rural Life (Gordon Mingay) 12. The Landed Elite (Richard G. Wilson) 13. The Middling Orders (Nicholas Rogers) 14. The Labouring Poor (John Rule) 15. Urban Life and Culture (Peter Borsay) 16. Women and the Family (John D. Ramsbottom) Part III: Religion. 17. The Church of England (Jeremy Gregory) 18. Religious Minorities in England (Colin Haydon) 19. Methodism and the Evangelical Revival (G. M. Ditchfield) 20. Religion in Scotland (Stewart J. Brown) 21. Religion in Ireland (Sean J. Connolly) Part IV: Culture. 22. Print Culture (Bob Harris) 23. Political Ideas from Locke to Paine (Pamela Edwards) 24. The Making of Elite Culture (Maura A. Henry) 25. Literature and Drama (J. Alan Downie) 26. Popular Culture (Bob Bushaway) 27. Crime and Punishment (James A. Sharpe) Part V: Union and Disunion in the British Isles. 28. Integration: Patriotism and Nationalism (Colin Kidd) 29. Scotland and the Union (Alexander Murdoch) 30. Wales in the Eighteenth Century (Geriant H. Jenkins) 31. Ireland: The Making of the 'Protestant Ascendancy', 1690-1760 (Paddy McNally) 32. Ireland: Radicalism, Rebellion and Union (Martyn J. Powell) Part VI: Britain and the Wider World. 33. Britain's Emergence as a European Power, 1688-1815 (H.M. Scott) 34. Britain and the Atlantic World (W.A. Speck) 35. Britain and India (Bruce P. Lenman) 36. The British Army (Stanley D.M. Carpenter) 37. The Royal Navy (Richard Harding) 38. Britain and he Slave Trade (John Oldfield) Bibliography. Index.