Lord Churchill's Coup: The Anglo-American Empire and the Glorious Revolution Reconsidered

Lord Churchill's Coup: The Anglo-American Empire and the Glorious Revolution Reconsidered

by Stephen S. Webb
     
 

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In LORD CHURCHILL’S COUP, Stephen Saunders Webb further advances his revisionist interpretation of the British Empire in the seventeenth century. Having earlier demonstrates that the Anglo=American empire was classic in its form, administered by an army, committed to territorial expansion, and motivated by crusading religion, Webb now argues that both England

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Overview

In LORD CHURCHILL’S COUP, Stephen Saunders Webb further advances his revisionist interpretation of the British Empire in the seventeenth century. Having earlier demonstrates that the Anglo=American empire was classic in its form, administered by an army, committed to territorial expansion, and motivated by crusading religion, Webb now argues that both England and its American social experiments were the underdeveloped elements of an empire emerging on both sides of the Atlantic and that the pivotal moment of that empire, the so-called “Glorious Revolution,” was in fact a military coup driven by religious fears.

In a vigorous narrative, Webb populates this formative period of the Anglo-American past with colorful and commanding characters. At the center is John Churchill. We see him rise from page boy to earl of Marlborough, winning battlefield glory, influence, and promotion; and his corresponding rise from ensign of the English army taking control of the destiny of the later Stuart monarchs of Britain and America.

Webb shows us Churchill increasingly alarmed by the Catholicizing course of his patron, James II, and becoming instrumental in the organization of a successful coup to protect Anglicanism and the constitution. We see the resulting alliance with William of Orange, the Protestant champion of Europe, quickly turn sour as William makes himself king; and we see Churchill, now transformed into imperial politician, once again in power—able to secure the succession of Queen Anne and negotiate the terms of resumption of war against France.

Throughout, Webb makes it clear that at the heart of Churchill’s ascent and actions is his vision of America as a decisive factor in the world war between England and France for impersonal supremacy. As the book ends, Churchill’s American agenda thus becomes central to the war aims of the Grand Alliance.




From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Continuing the provocative reappraisal of the Anglo-American empire last explored in his 1676: The End of American Independence (LJ 5/15/84), Webb argues that there was no "Glorious Revolution"; what occurred in 1688 was a military coup led by John Churchill (later duke of Marlborough). Webb's insistence that parliament and the colonial assemblies were bit players in this struggle is unconvincing; his iconoclasm at times leads to annoying overstatement, e.g., he labels Louis XIV the "French Hitler." The strengths of his very interesting book are its well-documented demonstration of personal and institutional ties among political and military leaders throughout the empire, the attention it focuses on the military's role in the revolution, and Webb's argument that Britain and its colonies must be studied side by side. For informed readers and scholars.-William B. Robison, Southeastern Louisana Univ., Hammond
Booknews
Having argued in his 1976 The Governors-General that Anglo-America of 16th and 17th centuries was an empire administered by the army officer corps, Webb (history, Syracuse) now recasts what is grandly known as The Glorious Revolution--1688 in England and 1689 in America--as a military coup fueled by religious fear that sparked a century-long war for American empire. John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough is his principal character. Knopf published the first edition in 1995. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Gilbert Taylor
Webb offers an exhaustively researched appraisal of a key figure, John Churchill, in the fall of James II from the throne and the consolidation of parliamentary government. It was his desertion that sealed James' fate, and the author explores the ramifications throughout the nascent English empire of that adroit withdrawal of loyalty. Webb builds up to that point with the story of Churchill's career, which flourished on his native military talents and James' patronage. The years 168588 were the hinge: at first Churchill was staunchly loyal, bloodily suppressing the Protestant duke of Monmouth's challenge to James' accession. But the drift of English and international politics was away from the catholicizing James, a champion of absolutism and alliance with the Sun King in France. Webb's thesis avers that beneath the specifics to the climax of the religio-power struggle (with each regiment's revolt duly footnoted), an aggressive English imperialism was straining at the bit, to be released by the invitation of Churchill and others to William of Orange to invade. Best for dedicated students to engage Webb's idea that the Glorious Revolution was not a revolution but a military coup.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307824493
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/12/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
399
File size:
4 MB

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