British diplomacy was an occupational sub-culture of genteel public service rather than anything resembling a professional bureaucracy. Ritual should not, however, be seen in simple terms as either a site of contest or mechanism of subordination. The gendered division of labour that became apparent in British diplomacy after 1780 has parallels in Europe. This chapter mentions the need to examine the extent to which the changing ideas about gender at home raised standards of public service for men and women. Diplomats' accounts of war and travel mark Britain's second arrival as a great power in 1815. This pride, married to an increasing set of investments in the empire, would play an important role in Britain's increasing sense of separation from Europe over the course of the nineteenth century.
Keywords: British diplomacy; professional bureaucracy; public service; gendered division; occupational sub-culture
Chapter. 3442 words.
Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)
Full text: subscription required