Armies and Political Change in Britain, 1660-1750

ISBN : 9780198851998

Hannah Smith
368 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2021
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Armies and Political Change in Britain, 1660 -1750 argues that armies had a profound impact on the major political events of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Britain. Beginning with the controversial creation of a permanent army to protect the restored Stuart monarchy, this original and important study examines how armies defended or destroyed regimes during the Exclusion Crisis, Monmouth's Rebellion, the Revolution of 1688-1689, and the Jacobite rebellions and plots of the post-1714 period, including the '15 and '45. Hannah Smith explores the political ideas of 'common soldiers' and army officers and analyses their political engagements in a divisive, partisan world. The threat or hope of military intervention into politics preoccupied the era. Would a monarch employ the army to circumvent parliament and annihilate Protestantism? Might the army determine the succession to the throne? Could an ambitious general use armed force to achieve supreme political power? These questions troubled successive generations of men and women as the British army developed into a lasting and costly component of the state, and emerged as a highly successful fighting force during the War of the Spanish Succession. Armies and Political Change in Britain, 1660 - 1750 deploys an innovative periodization to explore significant continuities and developments across the reigns of seven monarchs spanning almost a century. Using a vivid and extensive array of archival, literary, and artistic material, the volume presents a striking new perspective on the political and military history of Britain.


1 The Restoration of Crown and Church, 1660-1670
2 Popery, Arbitrary Government, and War, 1670-1678
3 The Disputed Succession, 1678-1685
4 Revolutions, 1685-1689
5 War and Peace, 1689-1702
6 The War of Succession, 1702-1714
7 Defending and Disputing the Rival Kings, 1714-1750
8 Oligarchy and Opposition, 1714-1750

About the author: 

Hannah Smith is a Tutor and Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford and Associate Professor in Early Modern British History, University of Oxford. She studied at Newnham College, Cambridge where she also held a Junior Research Fellowship, and was an RCUK Academic Fellow at the University of Hull. She was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2008. Her first book was Georgian monarchy: politics and culture, 1714-1760 (2006). She has also co-edited two books, Civilians and war in Europe, 1618-1815 (2012) and Religion and women in Britain, 1660-1760 (2014) and published several articles and essays.

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