A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727-1783 / Edition 1

A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727-1783 / Edition 1

by Paul Langford
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
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A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727-1783 / Edition 1

The first volume of Sir George Clark's Oxford History of England was published in 1934, and over 50 years that series established itself as a standard reference for hundreds of thousands of readers. The New Oxford History of England, of which this is the first volume, is its successor.

In this, the most authoritative, comprehensive general history of England between the accession of George II and the loss of America, Paul Langford merges conflicting images of the 18th century into a coherent picture to reveal the true character of the age. Conventional views of the 18th century emphasize its political stability, aristocratic government, stately manners, and Georgian elegance. But Langford reveals another aspect of the times—a less orderly world of treasonous plots, rioting mobs, and Hogarthian vulgarity. Using the latest research and a wealth of techniques culled from a variety of disciplines, he tells an absorbing tale of remarkable contrasts and changes. An age often seen in static terms is brought to life with all its contradictions and tensions revealed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780192852533
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/28/1994
Series: New Oxford History of England Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 832
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.80(d)

Table of Contents

2. ROBIN'S REIGN, 1727-1742 The accession of George II--The growth of opposition and the fall of Townshend--Walpole's supremacy--The case against Robinocracy--The excise crisis--Nobility and royalty--Church and State--The politics of protest--The policy of peace--Walpole's fall
3. THE PROGRESS OF POLITENESS The middle class--Material wealth and politeness--Middle-class divisions--Middle-class vulnerability--Middle-class schooling--Commercial education and its limitations--Books and the bourgeoisie--Association and assembly --Spa and seaside--Women in polite society--The unity of polite society
4. INDUSTRY AND IDLENESS Moral instruction--The reformation of manners and the charity school movement--The hospital movement--The Foundling and the Magdalen--Patriotism and population--Poverty--Crime--Recession or recovery?--The Atlantic economy-- The decline of economic regulation
5. PATRIOTISM UNMASKED, 1742-1757 Pulteney's patriotism--Carteret and Continental warfare--Broad-Bottom--The Forty-Five--The Pelhamite supremacy--The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle and the legacy of the Forty-Five--Conciliation in England and coercion in Scotland--Newcastle's diplomacy and Leicester House politics--Faction and the 'Jew Bill'--the Newcastle ministry--Pitt and patriotism
6. SALVATION BY FAITH The deist threat--The evangelical awakening--Evangelical animosities--The evangelical revival and the people--The established Church--The war on the Methodists--The evangelical challenge to contemporary values--Enthusiasm and reason--Superstition
7. THE FORTUNATE ISLE Religious liberty and tolerance--Lawyers and the law--Artistic backwardness--Languages and letters--English arts and foreign influences--The arts as national institutions--English nationalism and the foreigner--English nationalism and the Celt
8. PATRIOTISM RESTORED, 1757-1770 Pitt's politics--Pitt and the Seven Years War--The new reign--The peace of 1763--Bute, the empire, and the growth of opposition--Wilkes, Grenville, and the American colonies--Rockingham and the Stamp Act crisis--The Chatham ministry--The Middlesex election--The fall of Grafton
9. NEW IMPROVEMENTS Turnpikes--Canals--Urban growth--Urban improvement--Agricultural improvement--Enclosure, engrossing, and rural paternalism--Harvest and shortages--Price inflation--Resisting the price rise
10. THE BIRTH OF SENSIBILITY The sentimental revolution--Sentiment and religious reaction--Romantic scenery, the Gothic Revival, and Celtic legend--The sentimental challenge; moral standards and subversion--Sentiment and the new philanthropy-- Population, finance, and credit--Legislative reform and its limitations--Children, animals, and popular recreations--Travel and exploration--Enlightened opinion and non-European peoples
11. BRITANNIA'S DISTRESS, 1770-1783 North's ministry--North's opponents: Whigs, reformers, and Dissenters--India: the Regulating Act--The American crisis--The American War--Volunteers and associators--The Gordon Riots--The fall of North and the peace--Constitutional crisis
12. MACARONI MANNERS Speculation and bankruptcy--Gaming and the State--Fashionable diversions--Royalty and morality--Aristocratic vice--Duelling--Aristocratic power--Aristocratic influence--Female accomplishments--Cultural crisis
13. OPULENCE AND GLORY British arms: success and failure--Attitudes to war--The experience of war--The economic effects of war--Population and procreation--Finance and taxation--Commercial optimism and early industrialization--Class and interest-- Invention--Innovation and enterprise--The impact of industrialization
14. THIS HAPPY CONSTITUTION Change and the constitution--Balanced government--The State--Parliamentary supremacy--Parliamentary representation--A political culture

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