Chapter

Conclusion

John Seed

in Dissenting Histories

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780748621514
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651306 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621514.003.0008
Conclusion

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The Revolution debate was a dispute about history. It was, in key respects, initiated by the Dissenters in their campaigns against the Test and Corporation Acts that refocused public attention in the late 1780s on these survivals of Stuart England. The Revolution debate was an argument about the meaning of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and behind that the English revolution of the 1640s. It was an argument about the similarities and differences between English and French history. The Revolution Society was commemorating and seeking to institutionalise an alternative historical perspective on the seventeenth century. Edmund Burke's Reflections was a reaction that tapped into a darker set of collective memories. In one of his brilliant political essays of 1819, William Hazlitt, son of a Dissenting member, recalled with powerful nostalgia the political culture and bloody-minded refusals of the eighteenth-century Dissenters among whom he was raised.

Keywords: Revolution debate; Edmund Burke; Stuart England; English history; French history; William Hazlitt; Dissenters

Chapter.  2752 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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