This volume provides a concise, illustrated history of Great Britain over nearly three centuries since the union with Scotland in 1707. The general theme is the interaction of state and society--specifically the interplay of parliament and the electorate. The author argues that conservative politics prevailed largely in a deeply conservative society, and that reactionary causes generally obtained more support than radical campaigns.
'... phenomenal feat of compression ... Speck is a confident and reliable guide ... an elegant narrative combined with judicious analysis.' History Today 'It provides, amongst other attributes, a brief look at some of the major legislation, stating the objectives and for this it is a most valuable book. It provides a lightning guide to political history. For a seventeenth and eighteenth century historian, Speck gives some inspired insights into twentieth century history ... this is very useful book and again Cambridge University Press are to be congratulated in making the book in paperback and hardback simultaneously.' Allan Fletcher, Open History 'Professor Speck writes clearly and coherently so that the books will afford both a useful introduction for the lay reader seeking to understand the evolution of Britain today and a valuable corrective to specialists ... a commendably concise contribution to one-volume histories.' Teaching History 'An excellent work that offers both a clear political narrative and more general reflections on particular features of socio-economic development ... Authoritative as well as concise.' Archives