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Albion Ascendant

English History, 1660-1815

Wilfrid Prest

Publication Date - September 1998

ISBN: 9780198204183

384 pages

Retail Price to Students: $109.99


Between the restoration of Charles II and the battle of Waterloo, England gradually emerged as the core nation of the most formidable superpower the world had yet seen. Wilfrid Prest investigates this remarkable transformation from domestic instability and external weakness to global, economic, and military predominance. Geographically, the main focus is on England and Wales, but Prest also analyses the broader British context, discussing the role played by Ireland and Scotland, as well as the interrelations between England, Europe, and the wider world. He examines the lives of ordinary people as well as the ruling elite, and explores the distinctive nature of women's experiences; allowing the voices of the past to speak directly to the modern reader. The result is a lively, up-to-date, and comprehensive overview of Britain's long eighteenth century. It will remain a standard text on the subject for many years to come.

Table of Contents

    Part I: Restoration England 1660-1668
    1. England and the English:- Time, land, people; Getting and spending; Hierarchies; Government; Church and dissent; Culture and Ideas; England, Britain, Europe, and the wider world
    2. Settlement Deferred:- Restoration, accommodation, demobilization; Cavaliers, conspirators, dissenters; Charles II and the crisis of 1666-1667; Unstable alliances, 1668-1677; Popish plot, reaction and proscription; James II, 1685-1688: a threat to Church and state?; William of Orange and the Protestant wind
    Part II: Post-Revolutionary England, 1689-1715
    3. Glorious Revolution?:- Revolutionary practice and principles; Crown and parliament; Law, liberty, and toleration: how much and for whom?; Historians and the revolution
    4. The Rage of Party:- Political assumptions, ideologies, structures; War and peace, 1689-1701; Queen Anne and a Church Militant, 1702-1710; Jacobitism and the Protestant succession, 1710-1715
    5. War and the State:- Revolution, diplomacy, and war; The sinews of war; The state's servants; Great Britain as a world power
    6. Trade and the Towns:- Commercial revolution; Middling orders; Urbanity: London and the provinces; Economic concepts and calculations
    Part III: Great Britain: Liberty and Property, 1707-1745
    7. The State of the Union:- Defoe's England; Wales; Scotland; Ireland
    8. From Party Strife to One-Party Rule:- The Elector of Hanover, King George I; The Venetian oligarchy inaugurated; Parliamentary management; Opposition, war, and Walpole's fall; Crown and parliament - who ruled Britain?
    9. Religious Belief and Practice:- Church and chapel; Latitudarianism and freethinking; `Serving the Designes of Enthusiasm'; Confessional state or secularizing society?
    10. Production and Consumption:- The Landed interest - depression and improvement; Manufactures and manufacturing; consumers and consumerism; Government and the economy
    Part IV: Empires Won and Lost, 1746-1788
    11. People:- Population growth; The common people; `The upper part of mankind'; Childhood; Education and literacy; Love and marriage; Minorities
    12. Politics, Popularity, and Patriotism:- The old corps: Pelham and Newcastle; Willliam Pitt and the war with France; A new reign, a new politics?; `Wilkes and Liberty!'
    13. Ruling Institutions:- Blackstone and the rules of law; Crime and punishment; The Established Church, dissent and disability
    14. Burdens and Fruits of Empire:- Attitudes to Empire; George III, Lord North, and the American Revolution; The strains of war; Ireland - patriots and volunteers; Pitt and recovery; India and the East; The Pacific
    15. Sense and Sensibility:- The British Enlightenment; Science and medicine; Good works; Humanity and nature
    Part V: Economic Expansion and Diversification, 1750-1815
    16. Industrializing England:- Historiography; Feeding the people; Infrastructure - canals and turnpikes; Power; Industry and invention; Trade; banking and finance; Law, policy, and the State; Organization of work and workers; Labour and capital; Standards of living; Regional and national dimensions; Revolution or evolution?
    Part VI: Reform, Revolution, Reaction, 1789-1815
    17. Radicals, Reformers, and the French Revolution, 1789-1793:- Radical and reformist traditions; `Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive'; Burke and Paine; Jacobins and Loyalists
    18. The Last French Wars, 1793-1815:- Mobilization and repression; Dearth and famine, discontent and mutiny; Ireland: rebellion and union; A peace to be glad of; World wide war; Victory and misery
    19. Retrospect and Conclusion:- Change and Continuity, 1660-1815; The Peculiarities of the English
    Appendices: Monarchs and First Ministers, 1660-1815; Main British Colonies and Overseas Possessions, 1660-1815
    Further Reading

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