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Power, Ideology and ‘country politics’: Episodes from Derbyshire, c.1660-1760

RIORDAN, JAMES (2018) Power, Ideology and ‘country politics’: Episodes from Derbyshire, c.1660-1760. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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By engaging with Western Marxism and recent developments in social history, this thesis will explore the popular social and political responses to capitalist development and state formation in early modern England. We will analyse the role that country Tory oppositional politics played in local society, its relationship to national politics and to local economic change. This will be done through a series of case studies and episodes from Derbyshire, 1660-1760. Attention will be paid to the politics of the labouring poor, such as the tenants of Robert Hayward and the Rossell family, the Peak lead miners, opponents of the Derwent navigation and plebeian Tories in Derby. Yet the primary focus of the thesis will be on the ‘middling sort of people’ like the local gentry families, tradesmen, parish officials, shopkeepers and smallholders. Rather than studying bourgeois, polite society and London coffee house culture, we will prioritise the social relations of the middling sort of people in one county community. Special attention will be paid to their political responses to socio-economic change, and their opposition to the Whig oligarchy after 1722. Opposition to Robert Walpole and wider economic change acted as a catalyst for variegated social alignments to be formed. They were often cross-class in nature and constitutionalist in scope. These alignments will be explored throughout the thesis, using concepts from Antonio Gramsci as well as the class analysis of E. P. Thompson.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Jun 2018 15:11

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