This book, originally published in 1979, traces the growth of English radicalism from the time of Wilkes to the final suppression of the radical societies in 1799. The metropolitan radical movement is described in the context of the general democratic evolution of the West in the age of the American and French revolutions, by showing how its direction was influenced by events in France, Scotland and Ireland. The book emphasizes the importance of the great regional centres of provincial radicalism and of the evolution of a local, radical press. It also throws light on the impact of Painite radicalism, the origins of Anglo-french hostilities in 1793, the English treason trials of 1794, the protest movement of 1795 and the final phase of Anglo-Irish clandestine republicanism.
1. Introduction 2. The Radical Tradition in the Eighteenth Century 3. From Toleration to Participation 4. The English Friends of French Liberty and Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. 5. The Origins of Provincial Radicalism, 1790-2 6. The Great Debate 6. English Radicalism in the Wake of the French Revolution and the Loyalist Reaction, 1792-3 8. War, Repression and the British Convention 9. Confrontation and the Treason Trials of 1794 10. The Rise of the Protest Movement 11. The Irish Dimension and Anglo-Irish Clandestine Radicalism, 1797-8 12. The Suppression of the Radical Societies,the opposition to the Combination Laws, and the Radical Legacy