Download A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain by H. T. Dickinson PDF

By H. T. Dickinson

ISBN-10: 0631218378

ISBN-13: 9780631218371

This authoritative significant other introduces readers to the advancements that bring about Britain changing into an exceptional global strength, the top eu imperial country, and, while, the main economically and socially complex, politically liberal and religiously tolerant kingdom in Europe.

  • Covers political, social, cultural, financial and non secular heritage. Written by means of a global crew of specialists.
  • Examines Britain's place from the point of view of alternative eu nations.

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Sample text

Many English commentators claimed that English law was customary and immemorial, the monarch’s authority had always been limited, the constitution was based on a mixed form of government, the supreme authority in the kingdom was the legislature of King, Lords and Commons, and subjects had the right to resist tyranny. Building upon these foundations, they asserted that the political institutions of the country and the liberties of Englishmen were of ancient vintage. It was firmly believed that this ancient constitution could be traced back to the AngloSaxon era before the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Political commentators insisted therefore that there must be a supreme, irresistible, absolute and uncontrolled 8 h. t. dickinson authority in every state if order was to be maintained and anarchy avoided. Throughout the eighteenth century a clear majority of the political nation believed that the combined legislature of crown, Lords and Commons embodied this sovereign authority. Parliament could act as it saw fit and its actions could not be undone by any power on earth except a subsequent parliament.

Some MPs, however, hardly ever attended debates and 400 was a very high attendance figure in any great crisis. The political loyalties of a significant number of MPs were influenced by crown and aristocratic patronage. Many crown appointments, titles and honours – in the state’s bureaucracy (especially in the Treasury) and in the church, the armed forces and the legal profession – were granted to MPs or their relatives and clients. A number of parliamentary seats, including some treasury boroughs, admiralty boroughs, the Cinque Ports and some boroughs in the duchy of Cornwall, returned MPs in the crown interest.

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