Prior Allegiance

Paul Langford

in Public Life and the Propertied Englishman 1689–1798

Published in print August 1994 | ISBN: 9780198205340
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676574 | DOI:

Series: Ford Lectures

Prior Allegiance

Show Summary Details


This chapter examines the growing reluctance to conceive of the State in terms which could impede the accumulation of property and the competition of propertied interests, especially in relation to religious allegiance and party politics. In a society dominated by property, nothing could be more inimical to prevailing values than distinctions unconnected with property. This was the plight of English society after the Revolution of 1688. Catholics were obvious beneficiaries of the marked change in attitudes towards religious dissent. Public office for papists was a far more sensitive question than it was for Protestant Dissenters. Dissenters of the mid-18th century would have been startled by the vehemence of the debate about their rights and privileges in the 18th century. Loyalties imposed by the State were one impediment to benevolent combination by propertied people.

Keywords: individual rights; property; Catholics; papists; protestants; propertied people

Chapter.  33583 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.