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OLIVER J. W. COX -- FREDERICK, PRINCE OF WALES, AND THE FIRST PERFORMANCE OF ‘RULE, BRITANNIA!’ (2013). | The Historical Journal, 56, pp 931-954. - Cambridge Journals Online - Abstract
OLIVER J. W. COX - University College, Oxford -- The words and music of ‘Rule, Britannia!’ are synonymous with the expansionist, triumphalist, and imperialist Britain symbolized by fluttering Union Jacks on the Last Night of the Proms. This article explores the cultural and political contexts of the first performance of this important national cultural artefact as the finale of Alfred: a masque to suggest that this opening night served a very different purpose. The first audience was a court in exile from the metropolitan heart of London, popular amongst the general public, but without any prospects of government. Two of the most important members of this group of peers, politicians, poets and a prince had recently died, and with them any cohesive identity. Alfred is both a desperate plea for unity, a rallying cry which forcefully restated the key tenets of this group's identity, and a delayed expression of patriotic celebration occasioned by Admiral Vernon's capture of Portobello. Through addressing this performance, this article makes an important contribution to our understanding of Hanoverian political culture and highlights the continuing impact of Anglo-Saxon England on mid-eighteenth-century Britain. -* For comments and advice on earlier versions of my argument, I am grateful to Dr Hannah Smith and Dr Geoffrey Tyack. - Thanks are also due to John and Virginia Murray who ensured archival work at 50 Albemarle Street was always a pleasure.
article  paywall  find  18thC  British_history  British_politics  1740s  Whigs-opposition  Whigs-oligarchy  George_II  Walpole  Frederick_Prince_of_Wales  Britannia  Bolingbroke  Mallet  political_culture  political_nation  political_spectacle  theater  theatre-politics  elite_culture  patriotism  Anglo-Saxons  cultural_authority  cultural_pessimism  War_of_Austrian_Succession  British_Navy  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Nicholas Hudson - "Britons Never Will be Slaves": National Myth, Conservatism, and the Beginnings of British Antislavery | Eighteenth-Century Studies 34.4 (2001) 559-576 - Project MUSE
According to a virtual consensus in modern scholarship on the abolition of slavery, this event marked a historic victory for nonconformist, radical, or otherwise antiestablishment elements in British culture. A recent historian has connected the rise of antislavery with "Wilkite" tendencies in the British middle class, and others have located abolitionism in a "reform complex" devoted to the radical overhaul of the British political system. It has been widely assumed that British slavery was generally excused by the established Anglican church and that the abolitionist movement was dominated by "Quakers, evangelicals and Rational Dissenters." -- This scholarship exemplifies a "Whig" historiography that routinely looks for the sources of social change in the attack of peripheral or nontraditional groups on the center. -- the most resonant voices against slavery during the 18thC belonged to men and women with strong backgrounds in the Anglican Church and conservative views on social and political issues in Britain. These include Samuel Johnson, William Warburton, Edmund Burke, ... -- we find that these humanitarian objections emerged from within the groups and ideologies that conceived of Britain as fundamentally Anglican, royal, and hierarchical. -- it is, in fact, inaccurate to identify mainstream British values with the merchants and colonists who controlled the slave-trade. As I will contend, antislavery took shape amidst an essentially ideological conflict about the very nature of "Britain" between proponents of unbridled free-market capitalism and the essentially conservative and traditionalist outlook of those who wished to contain capitalism within the constraints of morality, religion, and their patriotic image of Britons as a freedom-loving people. -- copy 1st 2 pages in Simple Note
article  Project_MUSE  paywall  find  18thC  British_history  British_politics  Atlantic  West_Indies  American_colonies  slavery  dissenters  Radical_Enlightenment  Whigs-oligarchy  Whigs-Radicals  Whigs-opposition  Tories  national_ID  British_Empire  abolition  plantations  planters  Anglican  Royalists  Wilkes  Johnson  Warburton  Burke  conservatism  historiography-Whig  nationalism  merchants  finance_capital  moral_economy  political_economy  capitalism  patriotism  Patriots  Patriot_King  Bolingbroke  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader

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