A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain by H. T. Dickinson

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By H. T. Dickinson

This authoritative spouse introduces readers to the advancements that bring about Britain turning into a superb international energy, the prime ecu imperial kingdom, and, even as, the main economically and socially complicated, politically liberal and religiously tolerant country in Europe.

  • Covers political, social, cultural, fiscal and non secular historical past. Written by way of a global staff of specialists.
  • Examines Britain's place from the point of view of different eu nations.

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Extra info for A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain

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The leading government ministers were not in office because a majority in parliament, still less a majority of the electorate, had put them there. Ministers were first the british constitution 13 appointed by the monarch and only then did they seek majority support in parliament. Ministers could be dismissed at any time by the monarch, even while they seemed to retain majority support in parliament. The privy council ceased to act as a governing body in the eighteenth century, though it retained some honorific duties and ceremonial roles.

They worked even harder to ensure that the chairmen of parliamentary committees (especially the committee of supply and the committee of ways and means, which handled financial matters) were government supporters. Debates could be held at times which many backbench MPs found inconvenient: very early or very late in the session, or very late in the day. In a difficult situation popular opposition proposals might be allowed to pass an unmanageable House of Commons, but were defeated in a more compliant House of Lords.

The Church of England remained the state church and from 1701 the monarch was required to conform to the state church not just to exercise supreme authority over it. The Test and Corporation Acts of the later seventeenth century, which laid down that only those who conformed to the Church of England could hold office under the crown or serve in town corporations, remained on the statute books until 1828. Repeated attempts to repeal them failed, though regular indemnity acts after 1727 did enable Protestant Dissenters to evade the restrictions of the Corporation Act.

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