The Long Eighteenth Century: British Political and Social History, 1688-1832
The "long 18th century" in British history, the period from 1688 to 1832, defies easy characterization. To examine its political and social history ... Show synopsis The "long 18th century" in British history, the period from 1688 to 1832, defies easy characterization. To examine its political and social history is to be struck by the complexity of its values and practices. Acknowledging the complexitities, this study identifies the key thematic patterns that constitute much of the consistency of the period. It examines the development of the internal structure of Britain and of a sense of British nationhood; the role of religion in the life of the state and of the people; the slow transition from a society of orders to a society based increasingly on class distinctions; the commercial and imperial expansion which contributed so much to the prosperity of British society; the growing role and status of Britain in Europe; and the development, albeit uneven, of liberal forms of political thought and action. The text blends narrative with more purely analytical chapters.