First book

Re-imagining Democracy in the Age of Revolutions: America, France, Britain, Ireland 1750-1850

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INTRODUCTION:  Joanna Innes and Mark Philp:
AMERICA
1: Seth Cotlar: Languages of Democracy in America from the Revolution to the Election of 1800
2: Adam I.P. Smith: ‘The Fortunate Banner’: Languages of Democracy in the United States, c. 1848
3: Laura Edwards: The Contradictions of Democracy in American Institutions and Practices
FRANCE
4: Ruth Scurr: Varieties of Democracy in the French Revolution
5: Michael Drolet: Nineteenth-Century French Political Thought and the Problem of the General Will
6: Malcolm Crook: Elections and Democracy in France, 1789-1848
BRITAIN
7: Mark Philp: Talking about Democracy: Britain in the 1790s
8: Joanna Innes, Mark Philp and Robert Saunders: The Rise of Democratic Discourse in the Reform Era: Britain in the 1830s and 40s
9: Joanna Innes: People and Power in British Politics to 1850
IRELAND
10: Ultán Gillen: Constructing Democratic Thought in Ireland, 1775 – 1800
11: Laurent Colantonio: ‘Democracy’ and the Irish People 1830-48
12: Sean Connolly: The Limits of Democracy: Ireland 1778-1848
SYNERGIES:  Joanna Innes and Mark Philp

Edited by Joanna Innes and Mark Philp
256 pages | 234x156mm

978-0-19-966915-8 | Hardback | 27 June 2013

This page gives access to the first chapter of the book
Re-imagining Democracy in the Age of Revolutions charts a transformation in the way people thought about democracy in the North Atlantic region in the years between the American Revolution and the revolutions of 1848. In the mid-eighteenth century, ‘democracy’ was a word known only to the literate. It was associated primarily with the ancient world and had negative connotations: democracies were conceived to be unstable, warlike, and prone to mutate into despotisms. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the word had passed into general use, although it was still not necessarily an approving term. In fact, there was much debate about whether democracy could achieve robust institutional form in advanced societies.
In this volume, an international cast of contributors shows how common trends developed throughout the United States, France, Britain, and Ireland, particularly focusing on the era of the American, French, and subsequent European revolutions. Re-imagining Democracy in the Age of Revolutions argues that ‘modern democracy’ was not invented in one place and then diffused elsewhere, but instead was the subject of parallel re-imaginings, as ancient ideas and examples were selectively invoked and reworked for modern use. The contributions significantly enhance our understanding of the diversity and complexity of our democratic inheritance.

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