The Friends of Peace is a study of the war-opposition in England during what has usually been presented as the great patriotic struggle against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France. Protest against the wars was led by liberal writers, professionals and businessmen. Dr Cookson argues that the importance of these anti-war liberals has never been sufficiently acknowledged. They were often a power in their local communities and were strongly linked through religious (especially Unitarian) Dissent and the activities of the press. By means of comprehensive and systematic use of the provincial press, the main manuscript sources, printed collections and the extensive pamphlet literature which this articulate minority generated, Dr Cookson has identified them as perhaps the first of the nonconformist pressure groups operating on the flanks of the Whig party, and demonstrated that they played a significant part in making it liberal and popular. In the face of the conservative and Anglican reaction of the 1790s, they became the chief opponents of the oligarchical society, greatly hastening the development of a middle-class ideology.
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(216mm x 140mm x 19mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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