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Paterson, Neil Alasdair (2008)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
This study has two principal aims. The first is to identify the characteristic features of Leicestershire’s politics at a time of turbulence in English political history and the second to examine the relationship between political activity at a local level and nationally. For the purpose of this study ‘politics’ is defined as the way individuals manoeuvred, intrigued and competed with rivals to maintain their personal position and secure political objectives. The focus therefore is on the way men behaved politically in a variety of formal and informal contexts. Five settings are used to examine this behaviour: the role played by the leading aristocrats and gentry, the appointment of local governors, the established church and non-conformity, parliamentary elections and the borough of Leicester. The opening chapters set the national and local context for the research findings that follow. Inter alia the study looks at the local impact of Charles II and James II’ policies of re-modelling local offices to ensure that the militia, the commission of the peace and the corporation were composed of men who would support royal policy and also at the course of parliamentary elections throughout the four decades with particular reference to those during 1678-81, 1701-2 and 1710-15. These elections show the divisions which existed within the political community, the extent to which they were influenced by differences over religion and the way that they were exploited for partisan advantage. Although focussed on local politics, this study is predicated on the assumption that local politics can only be fully understood when the national context is taken into account.
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