Today on History SPOT a new podcast has been uploaded from the Franco-British history seminar held in the Sorbonne. This paper was given in french but talks about British radicals in the eighteenth century dealing with issues of patronism, foreign relations and parliamentary debates. Heres the abstract:
On the eve of the French Revolution, the British “radicals” called for a thorough reform of the Westminster parliament. They said that they were “patriots” at a time when the neologism “radicalism” had not yet been invented. Figures such as Richard Price, John Cartwright and John Jebb, are now little studied. Historiography focuses instead on the events of 1790 or on conservatism in the period. But the thesis of Jonathan Israel has now been given renewed vigour, often controversial, and focused on the adjective “radical”. This paper is to reconsider the British reformism of the 1770s and 1780s, in light of recent historiographical debates on the concepts of radicalism and patriotism. Among the issues raised is the use of anachronistic categories, affiliations and traditions related to the term “radical”, and the construction of a patriotic protest against a backdrop of war, introduced since the work of Linda Colley as the crucible of a conservative Britishness.