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Inventing and Resisting Britain

  • Murray G. H. Pittock
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Part of the British Studies Series book series (BRSS)

Abstract

This book is an examination of the cultural and political diversity of Britain and Ireland in the eighteenth century, and the extent to which we can speak of ‘Britain’ as a unified country at all at times of crisis during this period. In the ensuing discussion, it is inevitable that minorities within the British Isles will receive a high degree of attention, but this is relevant not only because many of the histories of eighteenth-century Britain are written from a centralizing ‘core’ perspective, but also because a multiplicity of minorities in the period may well constitute a majority. In the early eighteenth century, for example, the population of England was little more than that of Scotland, Wales and Ireland combined. Today, it is four times this: such a demographic shift has obvious cultural effects. Large-scale alterations in political authority, allegiance and religious or cultural practice have also taken place. In this process, the eighteenth century was crucial: it is the historic battleground of the formation of Great Britain, and subsequent historians have viewed it as such. In the conclusion to this book, their position and the principles underlying definitions of identity in general will be further scrutinized.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Murray G. H. Pittock 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray G. H. Pittock
    • 1
  1. 1.EdinburghUK

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