British Consciousness and Identity: The Making of Britain, 1533-1707

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 18, 2003 - History - 368 pages
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The historical resonances of the concept of 'Britain' for the communities of the Atlantic Archipelago in the early modern period are explored here in terms of the ideological demands made upon it. Various and competing concepts of Britishness are examined, from the Henrician legislation which united Wales with England and which created the kingdom of Ireland, to the Act of Union of the realms of England and Scotland. The chequered history of the consciousness of Britain as a polity which embraced the united kingdoms is discussed in relation to the distinctive national identities of the constituent countries, and the question of the impact of 'Britain' on English policy-making under the Tudor, Stuart and the first Hanoverian monarchs is addressed. The puzzling resistance of the Irish to assimilation in contrast to the docility of the Welsh and - eventually - of the Scots is also explored.
 

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Contents

Tudor Wales national identity and the British inheritance
8
The English Reformation and identity formation in Wales and Ireland
43
Faith culture and sovereignty Irish nationality and its development 15581625
112
From English to British literature John Lylys Euphues and Edmund Spensers The Faerie Queene
140
The British problem in three tracts on Ireland by Spenser Bacon and Milton
159
James Ussher and the creation of an Irish protestant identity
185
Seventeenthcentury Wales definition and identity
213
Scottish identity in the seventeenth century
236
The Gaidhealtachd and the emergence of the Scottish Highlands
259
No remedy more proper AngloIrish unionism before 1707
301
Protestantism constitutionalism and British identity under the later Stuarts
321
Index
343
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