By H. T. Dickinson
This authoritative significant other introduces readers to the advancements that result in Britain changing into a good global strength, the best ecu imperial country, and, even as, the main economically and socially complicated, politically liberal and religiously tolerant state in Europe.
- Covers political, social, cultural, fiscal and spiritual heritage. Written through a global workforce of specialists.
- Examines Britain's place from the viewpoint of alternative eu nations.
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Additional resources for A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain
The ruling elite had no desire to see the people appeal to the contract theory or to the right of resistance in order to challenge their own right to govern. They played down the importance of Revolution principles as any sure guide to future political action. They feared that any undue emphasis on the people’s right of resistance would undermine the stability of the political and social order which they had established. When, in the later eighteenth century, radicals began either to claim that the Revolution Settlement had not gone far enough in restoring the liberties of the subject, or that it had justiﬁed the people’s right to remove a government which infringed their liberties, conservative voices were raised in defence of the older Whig claim that the Glorious Revolution deserved to be celebrated because it had carried through the limited changes needed to restore the ancient constitution.
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. By such means crown patronage could strongly inﬂuence though not entirely control the votes of about 100 MPs in the earlier eighteenth century and perhaps 200 in the later eighteenth century. This bloc of pro-government MPs was usually known as the Court and Treasury party, though the loyalty of its members could never be absolutely guaranteed when the government faced a severe crisis.
Here parliament, which urged ﬁnancial prudence and transparency, guaranteed the national debt. It earmarked speciﬁc taxes for the payment of speciﬁc stock issues, so that anyone who invested in government stock had the guarantee of a safe return. The negative aspect of this was that Britain became one of the most heavily taxed nations in Europe. The British state extracted more in taxes from its subjects than did absolutist France, and from the late seventeenth century the curve of tax revenue was a steeply rising one.