The Making of a Great Power / Edition 1

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Foundations of Modern Britain has established itself as perhaps the standard modern student history of Britain. Only the General Editor's own eagerly-awaited contribution has been needed to complete the sequence through from 1370. Now it is here. Published as two linked but self-sufficient volumes (the second is The Age of Oligarchy: Pre-industrial Britain 1722-1783, by Geoffrey Holmes and Daniel Szechi), it presents an incomparably rich portrait of late seventeenth and eighteenth-century Britain. The Britain of the 1720s - constitutionally united, tempered by a generation of warfare with France, and newly established as a major European power - offers an astonishing contrast with the England of the 1660 Restoration, shakily emerging from the upheavals of the Civil Wars and Interregnum. How that transformation came about is the subject of this first volume. The foundations on which it rested were a spectacular commercial advance; wealth great enough to finance not only Britain's growing armed forces, but also those of her continental allies in the struggle against the France of Louis XIV; sophisticated new financial institutions; an upsurge of national pride, in which scientific and intellectual developments of lasting significance played their part; and a new and remarkable degree of social cohesion. All of which, as Geoffrey Holmes shows, made it possible for the country to weather the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and the potentially disastrous South Sea Bubble with which the book ends. The later years of this period, culminating in the bitterly fought 1722 election, also foreshadowed a remarkable political change - the ending of the 'rage of party' in politics and religion which had threatened to tear the country apart, and the coming at long last of constitutional stability. But although the basic prerequisite of this development - the 'abdication' of James II, with his authoritarian ambitions and his unpopular religious beliefs - was achieved by the 1688 Rev
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582484399
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 4/20/1995
  • Series: Foundations of Modern Britain Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 524
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents

List of maps
Editor's foreword
Note on dating and quotations
List of abbreviations
1 The Restoration Settlement: State, Church and Land 27
2 Population, agriculture and industry in England, 1660-1688 44
3 Trade and colonies: England's 'Commercial Revolution' 58
4 English society after the Restoration: stability and change 69
5 Personality and penury: King Charles II and his finances 83
6 The Restoration monarchy and Europe: isolation without splendour, 1660-1688 93
7 The constitution under stress, 1661-1678 106
8 Popery and Exclusion 120
9 The first political parties 133
10 Reason, authority and dissent: science and religion, 1662-1687 143
11 The threat to 'Liberty and Property', 1681-1687 160
12 James II and William of Orange: the providential Revolution 176
13 The settlement of 1689 and the forging of 'the Revolution Constitution' 212
14 The struggle with France and the birth of a great power, 1689-1713 229
15 The transformation of foreign policy, 1689-1714 243
16 The fruits of war: I - The New Executive 257
17 The fruits of war: II - The New Finance: from the credit revolution to the South Sea Bubble 266
18 Revolution, war and property: social change and conflict, 1689-c. 1725 278
19 People, trade and industry: from the 1690s to the 1720s 293
20 The union of Britain: Scotland and England, 1690-1727 307
21 The political system and the electorate, 1689-1722 322
22 Parliament and the 'rage of party' 334
23 Church and Dissent in the age of party: the climax of conflict, 1689-1720 350
24 The ferment of ideas, 1687-c. 1740: an English Enlightenment? 367
25 The quest for stability: from the Revolution to the rise of Walpole 384
A Glossary 401
B Population and social structure 403
C Monarchs and pretenders 413
D Leading government office-holders, 1660-1722 415
E Parliament 422
F The constitution: statutes, bills and proposals 426
G Public finance 432
H Foreign policy: treaties of alliance and peace, 1661-1722 434
I Britain's major wars, 1660-1722 439
J Overseas trade and the colonies 440
K Agriculture 446
L Industry 449
M Living standards 451
N Religion 453
O Maps 463
Bibliography 472
Index 488
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