New PDF release: A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain

By H. T. Dickinson

ISBN-10: 0631218378

ISBN-13: 9780631218371

This authoritative better half introduces readers to the advancements that result in Britain changing into an outstanding international strength, the major ecu imperial kingdom, and, whilst, the main economically and socially complex, politically liberal and religiously tolerant country in Europe.

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

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Example text

In concrete terms, this means that their geographical location forced the continental powers to build up powerful armies. And, in order to finance and maintain such armies, an efficient bureaucracy acting in the spirit of the absolutist state was a prerequisite. Britain, by contrast, as an island state, did not need to maintain large land forces. Consequently, it could dispense with a substantial state apparatus. Hintze is not the only scholar to have seen Britain as a comparatively stateless nation.

It was accepted by all that every subject had the right to enjoy freedom from oppression and that each individual was free to do some things without interference from government or legislature. There was a moral limit to the power of government or parliament to interfere with the activities of subjects. It was also agreed that this sphere of free action could not be unlimited, because this would mean that no government or parliament could possess any legitimate or effective authority over its subjects.

After the Glorious Revolution the crown lost some, but not all, of its prerogative powers. The monarch had to be a Protestant (and after 1701 had to be an Anglican Protestant) and had to appoint only Anglicans to offices in the state. The monarch ceased to be able to pass or seriously amend laws without consent of parliament and, because of the constant need for parliamentary taxation, the monarch had to summon annual sessions of parliament in order to finance government policies, particularly costly wars.

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

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