Titel: Country and Court: England 1658-1714.
Verlag: London, Edward Arnold.
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The wave of popular acclaim greeting Charles II on his return to England in 1660 expressed the universal desire among his subjects for peace and order. But the Restoration failed to resolve any of the fundamental issues concerning the distribution of power and, only two decades later, England stood again on the brink of civil war. Paradoxically, it was James II who, by the most dangerous plot of all, united the nation to ensure the success of the Revolution Settlement in 1688. This is a history of the turbulent period from the fall of the Commonwealth to the death of Queen Anne. Professor Jones unravels the complexities of Restoration politics which, in the absence of any consensus or constitutional definition, were marked by sweeping adventures like the secret Treaty of Dover, pursued in an atmosphere of intrigue, cynicism and panic. After 1688, by contrast, the basic constitutional principles were accepted and embodied in the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement. Parliament was now established as a partner in government while politics centered on a continuous battle to control it, splitting the nation into whip and tory camps. In the introductory chapters, the author provides an essential background to his narrative by analysing the working of the political system, administration and finance, social trends and foreign policy. He shows how England had emerged by 1714 as a major power in Continental affairs, preeminent in commerce and culture and already on the point of transformation into the first `modern' society in Europe. Cover: The illustration is a detail from a painting by James Thornhill of the marriage of William and Mary in 1677. Reproduced by kind permission of the Royal Hospital, Greenwich.
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