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The Army, Provincial Urban Communities, and Loyalist Cultures in England, c. 1714-50

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Professional armies were unpopular in early eighteenth century England, the professional soldier being seen as an agent of political tyranny. However, there also existed an alternative rhetoric, which portrayed him as a soldier-citizen, who fought to defend his country’s liberties. The article begins by exploring these characterizations of professional soldiers, and goes on to examine civic-military relations in English cities and towns during the reigns of George I and George II. A culture of political loyalism, focusing on the early Georgian kings, may have assisted attempts at coexistence between soldiers and citizens in communities where the inhabitants shared a commitment to the Protestant Succession with the soldiers in their midst. Polite sociability, and all that it implied, might also act as a medium for non-confrontational interaction between the urban elites and officer corps.


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Affiliations: 1: St. Hilda’s College Oxford


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