The British Armed Nation, 1793-1815
Clarendon Press, 1997 - History - 286 pages
This book deals with the impact of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars on the British Isles. Previous work has concentrated on the ideological formations associated with the French conflict, especially anti-revolutionary loyalism and ideas of Britishness. Here, Dr Cookson provides anew perspective on the social response to the demands of war, through a detailed examination of the mobilization of armed force for the regular army, militia, and volunteers in response to the French encirclement of Britain and Ireland. Dr Cookson's study sheds interesting light on the nature of the British state and the extent of its dependence on society's self-organizing powers. He uses the evidence on mobilization to show the differences in the nature of state and society in various parts of the British Isles, and examinesthe impact on Scottish and Irish identities within the unions. In England, he shows how mobilization often owed more to working-class pragmatism and the `town-making' interests of urban rulers than to national defence patriotism. The result is a fascinating `war and society' study which is also asignificant contribution to urban history.
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