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Dismembering the Body Politic : Partisan Politics in England's Towns, 1650-1730 - Paul D. Halliday

Dismembering the Body Politic

Partisan Politics in England's Towns, 1650-1730

Hardcover Published: 28th July 1998
ISBN: 9780521552530
Number Of Pages: 416

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This is a major survey of how towns were governed in late Stuart and early Hanoverian England. A new kind of politics emerged out of England's Civil War: partisan politics. This happened first in the corporations governing the towns, and not at Parliament as is usually argued. Based on an examination of the records of scores of corporations, this book explains how war unleashed a cycle of purge and counter-purge which continued for decades. It also explains how a society that feared a system of politics based on division found the means to absorb it peacefully. As conflict sharpened in communities everywhere, local competitors turned to the court of King's Bench to resolve their differences. In doing so, they prompted the court to develop a new body of law that protected local governments from the divisive impulses within them.

"Paul D. Halliday's book offers a new insight into the electoral politics of corporate English towns in the unstable decades of the English monarchy between the execution of King Charles I and the confirmation of the Hanoverian succession. The importance of his work lies in the fact that corporate towns elected most of the members of parliament in these decades. My estimate is that Halliday's work needs to be read by political historians of England. Those interested in parliament and party, and urban historians, should buy it...a well-planned and well-argued book. It is easy, even compelling to read. It places more emphasis on local initiatives in politics, and if the approach is accepted, then Charles II and James II emerge as lesser demons in corporation history than has hitherto been claimed." The Journal of Modern History "...Halliday's study provides a useful complement to the pioneering work on the emergence of partisan politics..." Choice "This is an important book and should be studied by anyone interested in the impact of partisan politics on the body politic." Richard G. Bailey, Canadian Journal of History

Preface
List of abbreviations
Corporate Ideal and Partisan Reality
The paradox of partisan politics
'The best of politics'
From purge to purge: Civil War, Interregnum, and Restoration in the corporations
Partisan politics, 1663-1682
The King and his Corporations, 1660-1688
The corporations and their charters, 1660-1682
Quo warranto and the King's corporations, 1682-1685
Revolution in the corporations, 1685-1688
Partisan Conflict and the Law in a Dynamic Society
The legacy of the 1680s
Partisan conflict and political stability, 1702-1727
1660, 1688, 1727, and beyond
Select bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521552530
ISBN-10: 0521552532
Series: Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History (Hardcover)
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 28th July 1998
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.69
Weight (kg): 0.78