A War of Ideas: British Attitudes to the Wars Against Revolutionary France, 1792–1802, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A War of Ideas

British Attitudes to the Wars Against Revolutionary France, 1792–1802, 1st Edition

By Emma Vincent Macleod


240 pages

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Paperback: 9781138320604
pub: 2020-02-01
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Hardback: 9781138320598
pub: 2018-08-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429453175
pub: 2019-01-15
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The responses of British people to the French Revolution has recently received considerable attention from historians. British commentators often expressed a sense of the novelty and scale of European wars which followed, yet their views on this conflict have not yet attracted such thorough examination. This book offers a wide-ranging exploration of the attitudes of various groups of British people to the conflict during the 1790’s: the Government, their supporters and their opponents inside and outside Parliament, women, churchmen, and the broad mass of British public opinion. It presents the debate in England and Scotland provoked by the war both as the sequel to the French Revolution and as a distinct debate in itself. Emma Vincent Macleod argues that contemporaries saw this conflict as one of the first since the wars of religion to be significantly shaped by ideological hostility rather than solely by a struggle over strategic interests.


’Macleod has read very widely and her survey offers a comprehensive view of the range of British attitudes at the time.’ French History, Vol. 13, No. 3 ’…an interesting and scholarly volume which…will deservedly be widely used for many years to come.’ Parliamentary History, Vol. 18, No. 1 ’ …a judicious and thoughtful book.’ British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 23, part 1 ’This book is an important contribution to an expanding body of literature on Britain in the 1790s and will excite considerable interest from historians of ideas.’ English Historical Review, Vol. 115, no. 461

Table of Contents

1. Edmund Burke and the War Against the French Revolution. 2. Government Attitudes: The Pitt Administration and George III. 3. Loyalists and War Crusaders. 4. The Opposition to the War (I): The Foxite Whigs. 5. The Opposition to the War (II): Radicals and Friends of Peace. 6. Churchmen: Political Preaching, Patriotism and Pacifism. 7. Women at War: British Women and the Debate on the Wars Against Revolutionary France. 8. The Voice of the People? Public Opinion and the Wars Against Revolutionary France.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General