The Making of a Great Power: Late Stuart and Early Georgian Britain, 1660-1722

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Longman, 1993 - 506 strani
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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 Revolution, it took two major wars and three rebellions (two in Scotland and one in Ireland), before the Protestant Succession was made unchallengeable.
The fruit of a lifetime's work by one of the country's leading historians, this is history writing on the grand scale.

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Prologue 1 The Restoration of Charles II
The constitution under stress 16611678
Popery and Exclusion
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