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The Persistence of Empire
British Political Culture in the Age of the American Revolution
Paper ISBN 978-0-8078-4846-3
Copyright 2000 by the University of North Carolina Press
A Prize-Winning Book
Jamestown Prize (1993)
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A wide-ranging and highly intelligent exploration of why the American policies adopted by George III and his ministers were able to command wide support in Britain. Gould works from a profound knowledge of the pamphlet literature of the period, setting out arguments that historians of the American Revolution and of British imperialism will need to address. A wonderfully professional debut!
How did Britain turn its greatest modern defeat into imperial success? Gould’s succinct and lucid account reevaluates the American Revolution as a defining moment in British history. Its discerning analysis uncovers themes in British political culture and concepts of citizenship [and] illuminates the direction and enduring domestic popularity of London’s policies, as well as the more heterodox empire that sprang from defeat. American historians seeking to understand their own republican empire should read this book.
A fresh and valuable look at British ideas about the empire in the late eighteenth century.... Gould introduces an array of subjects central to changes in British political culture during and after the Revolution...patriotism, militia service, war, Parliamentary sovereignty, diplomacy, race.
A well-researched, closely argued account of the impact of the American Revolution on British political culture. . . . A first-class book which connects a number of issues and strands of British thought that are not often studied with reference to popular political and intellectual currents in the age of the American Revolution.
--International History Review
An impressively well-documented analysis of the empire from an English perspective.
--William and Mary Quarterly
Gould has made a substantial contribution not only to imperial and Atlantic histories but also to the study of Britishness.
--Journal of American History
A thoroughly researched, first-rate piece of work. The author is comfortable with the era and its people. What is even more important, he communicates his understanding in well-organized, marvelously readable prose that flows in a style all too few historians are willing or able to produce.
This is a thought-provoking book, its argument consistently developed in sophisticated and engaging terms and presented with lucidity and grace.
--Reviews in American History
This is a wide-ranging and highly intelligent exploration of why the American policies adopted by George III and his ministers were able to command wide support in Britain. Gould works from a profound knowledge of the pamphlet literature of the period, setting out arguments that historians of the American Revolution and of British imperialism will need to address. A wonderfully professional debut!
--Linda Colley, European Institute, London School of Economics
At the heart of this compelling study of political culture in Britain during the eighteenth century is the proposition that the British public did not, as traditionalists argued, reject their government's war against the American colonies, but, on the contrary, put significant support behind it. . . . [A] nicely written and articulate study.