What did it mean to be a 'conservative' in Britain before such terminology was even used? Is it possible or even desirable to encapsulate such diverse individuals as George III, Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, J. W. Croker and the Young Pitt within one political nomenclature? What is the relationship between the Jacobitism or Toryism of the early eighteenth century and the ideology of loyalist Englishmen of the latter Georgian period? James Sack confronts these questions in discussing an evolving right-wing mentalite, expressed in attitudes towards the past, the monarchy, humanitarianism, reform, and religion. Although Professor Sack has consulted a wide range of unpublished and printed correspondence, pamphlets, and sermons, his chief sources have been numerous 'Church and King' newspapers, journals, and magazines. From this right-wing press, Sack has uncovered a novel way of looking at political, social, and religious issues in the age of the American, French, and Industrial Revolutions.
His central contention is that the defence of the Church of England, rather than nationalistic impulses, monarchical sentiment, or even economic self-interest, was the abiding concern of pre-1832 British conservatism.