British Identities before Nationalism: Ethnicity and Nationhood in the Atlantic World, 1600-1800

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This book examines the status and uses of ethnicity in political debate during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the era that immediately preceded the onset of modern racialist and nationalist thinking. Ranging widely across the political cultures of England, Scotland, Ireland and revolutionary America, it also considers European influences and comparisons as well as engaging historically with current debates over nationalism and identity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kidd's study makes...important and welcome contributions to the study of nationalism." Journal of World History

"British Identities before Nationalism is an intellectual rather than a political history...ritish Identities is the result of prodigious research, calling not only on secondary commentaries but also including a wide range of primary printed sources. Kidd presents the results of his research with remarkable clarity and not without a touch of humor. His work will be of considerable use to anyone interested in the formation of national identities in the English-speaking world." The Journal of Modern History

"...Kidd's book has a good deal for the student of the Scottish Enlightenment." Roger L. Emerson, 18th Century Scotland

"...timely and significant....comprises an important effort to overcome the romanticized, ethnicized, and ultimely victimized view of the British past." Arthur Williamson, The International History Review

"Kidd provides a valuable compendium of information, broadly researched and urbanely expressed. Kidd employs the newly minted insights of comparative and cultural analysis to depict the eighteenth century as a culmination of older ways of thought." William and Mary Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521624039
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; Part I. Theological Contexts: 2. Prologue: the mosaic foundations of early modern British identity; 3. Ethnic theology and British identities; Part II. The Three Kingdoms: 4. Whose ancient constitution? Ethnicity and the English past, 1600–c. 1790; 5. Britons, Saxons and the Anglican quest for legitimacy; 6. The Gaelic dilemma in early modern Scottish political culture; 7. The weave of Irish identities, 1600–c. 1790; Part III. Points of Contact: 8. Constructing the pre-romantic Celt; 9. Mapping a Gothic Europe; 10. The varieties of Gothicism in the British Atlantic world, 1689–c. 1790; 11. Conclusion; Index.

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