Persistence of Empire British Political Culture in the Age of the American Revolution

ISBN-10: 0807848468
ISBN-13: 9780807848463
Edition: 2000
Authors: Eliga H. Gould
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Description: The American Revolution was the longest colonial war in modern British history and Britain's most humiliating defeat as an imperial power. In this lively, concise book, Eliga Gould examines an important yet surprisingly understudied aspect of the  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 3/6/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

The American Revolution was the longest colonial war in modern British history and Britain's most humiliating defeat as an imperial power. In this lively, concise book, Eliga Gould examines an important yet surprisingly understudied aspect of the conflict: the British public's predominantly loyal response to its government's actions in North America. Gould attributes British support for George III's American policies to a combination of factors, including growing isolationism in regard to the European continent and a burgeoning sense of the colonies as integral parts of a greater British nation. Most important, he argues, the British public accepted such ill-conceived projects as the Stamp Act because theirs was a sedentary, "armchair" patriotism based on paying others to fight their battles for them. This system of military finance made Parliament's attempt to tax the American colonists look unexceptional to most Britons and left the metropolitan public free to embrace imperial projects of all sortsincluding those that ultimately drove the colonists to rebel. Drawing on nearly one thousand political pamphlets as well as on broadsides, private memoirs, and popular cartoons, Gould offers revealing insights into eighteenth-century British political culture and a refreshing account of what the Revolution meant to people on both sides of the Atlantic.

Eliga H. Gould is Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire.

Preface
List of Maps and Illustrations
Introduction
An Empire of Liberty: Whig Identity in the Reign of George II
Maintaining the Balance of Power
A Matchless Constitution
The Liberties of Britain and Europe
The Blue Water Vision: British Imperialism and the Seven Years' War
"The Sepulchre of British Interest"
Oceans, Indians, and Colonists
The Legacy of William Pitt
Patriotism Established: The Creation of a "National Militia" in England
The Power of Popularity
The Militia Riots of 1757
The Price of Victory
The Nation Abroad: The Atlantic Debate over Colonial Taxation
The Origins of the Stamp Act (1765)
An American Theory of Empire
The Plunge of Lemmings
The Revolution in British Patriotism: The Friends of Government and the Friends of America
Ambivalent Patriots
The County Associations (1780)
A People above Reproach
The Experience of Defeat: The British Legacy of the American Revolution
The Limits of Greater Britain
"The Isle of Liberty and Peace"
A Multiracial Empire
Bibliography
Index

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