March 7, 2017

A Land of Liberty?: England 1689-1727 (New Oxford History of by Julian Hoppit

By Julian Hoppit

The wonderful Revolution of 1688-9 used to be a decisive second in England's heritage; an invading Dutch military pressured James II to escape France, and his son-in-law and daughter, William and Mary, have been topped as joint sovereigns. the broader outcomes have been no much less startling: conflict in eire, union with Scotland, Jacobite intrigue, deep involvement in significant ecu wars, Britain's emergence as an outstanding energy, a 'financial revolution', larger spiritual toleration, a riven Church, and the quick progress of parliamentary executive. Such alterations have been simply a part of the transformation of English society on the time. A torrent of latest principles from such figures as Newton, Defoe, and Addison, unfold via newspapers, periodicals, and coffee-houses, supplied new perspectives and values that a few embraced and others loathed. England's horizons have been additionally transforming into, particularly within the Caribbean and American colonies. for lots of, even though, the advantages have been doubtful: the slave alternate flourished, inequality widened, and the bad and 'disorderly' have been more and more topic to strictures and statutes. If it used to be an age of clients it was once additionally certainly one of anxieties. This new textual content presents a very normal assessment of britain among the fantastic Revolution and the demise of George I and Newton. a part of the recent Oxford historical past of britain sequence, it's a broad ranging survey that mixes the wealthy secondary literature with vast fundamental study. It appears at politics, faith, financial system, society, and tradition and seeks to put England in its British, ecu, and international contexts. It contains an annotated bibliography and may end up worthwhile to a variety of scholars of the interval.

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Extra info for A Land of Liberty?: England 1689-1727 (New Oxford History of England)

Sample text

Much primary research has been undertaken into the nooks and crannies of the period, not just because it  11 aids understanding but also because it adds depth and colour in ways that a dependence upon secondary literature alone cannot. To maximize the efficiency of this, however, attention has been concentrated on printed sources. Many of these are editions of manuscript sources, from diaries and correspondence to debates and court records, but many are contemporary printed works—somewhat reflecting the enormous explosion of publishing in this period, with slightly more works published in these thirty-eight years than in the previous one hundred.

Furthermore, only through frequent meetings could Parliament scrutinize the workings and policies of the executive, attention that was felt to be doubly necessary when the nation was engaged in expensive foreign war. Parliament did not, it must be stressed, want to direct the war effort—initially at least, all matters of foreign affairs and the making of war and peace it recognized as prerogatives of the Crown—but it did want to audit levels of expenditure. In such a climate the passage of the Triennial Act in 1694, limiting the length of each Parliament to three years, was of less significance than the raising of the limit to seven years with the passage of the Septennial Act in 1716.

Still William made no claim to the throne and many options remained. But they were dramatically reduced by the successful flight of James to France two days before Christmas. Recalling James was improbable, establishing a regency or offering the throne to William and Mary (from the Convention assembly, which was only retrospectively declared to be a Parliament) much more likely. Difficult choices had to be made and major scruples and hurdles had first to be overcome. In the first place, to offer the throne to Mary was to break the hereditary succession.

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