- Hardcover: 290 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (18 Jan. 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521473292
- ISBN-13: 978-0521473293
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,187,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
William III and the Godly Revolution (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History) Hardcover – 18 Jan 1996
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'… this is a fascinating study which deserves a wide readership and should stimulate renewed scholarly interest in a relatively neglected period.' English Historical Review
This book provides the first full account of William III's propaganda during his reign in England, 1689–1702. It explores the self-presentation of the English monarchy at a particularly difficult moment, following the king's irregular succession to the throne in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Courtly reformation" rhetoric imposed a framework on political debate that limited attempts to undermine the king's royal prerogative. However, before the deployment of this rhetoric could be successful, certain obstacles had to be overcome by William III and his propagandists. The first and perhaps most urgent was the need to repudiate The Declaration of Reasons for appearing in arms in the Kingdom of England. This Declaration, written by William III's propagandists and published a month before his expedition to England, justified the Princes' actions by appealing to constitutional discourse. The Declaration, according to Claydon, posed serious problems for William III once war with France became imminent, since it suggested that "the powers of the monarch should be tightly controlled" (27). At this point, William's propagandists evaded the thorny constitutional issues of the royal prerogative, which William needed to conduct the war, and instead put the propaganda press into high gear refashioning the monarch as providentially justified with a mandate to promote the true church and purify morality. This refashioning had important implications for the exercise of royal authority. Now that the king ruled by providence, according to his propagandists, authority was checked not by common law but by William's "fear of God." According to Claydon, this message "legitimated the regime" and served to "support the court's cause" in defense of William's actions.
It was not merely the exaltation of the new monarch so as to elevate him above the criticisms of party politics that concerned this new rhetoric. "Courtly reformation" was singularly interested in a reformation of manners. This is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Claydon's argument and his most significant contribution to the period. In contrast to emphasizing the events of 1688/89 as a watershed event in constitutional history, Claydon emphasizes the imposition of a new sociability based on the notion of a "virtuous court." Set in diametrical opposition to the supposedly corrupt and debauched court of Charles II, William's propaganda ministers set out to change the image of the royal household by denouncing luxury and discrediting "worldly grandeur" (91). This new message, promulgated by the press and pulpit, according to Claydon, "nationalized" the foreign born King and, more importantly, reconceived of him as "the very embodiment of the new nation" (132). This is the prime achievement of William III's propaganda: It not only elevated him above party criticism thereby giving him much latitude in conducting foreign policy but also forging an ideology that allowed for a critical assessment of the monarchy without creating political crisis and social breakdown. All of Claydon's evidence for the development of a stable polity rests on royal propaganda and even Claydon admits, "It is hard to make any solid claims for the propaganda's achievements" (22). However, despite this problem, Claydon persuasively illustrates how William III's rhetoric of "courtly reformation" and moral reform provided a context for the development of a stable polity and the foundation for the first "modern state" (236).
Orange court propaganda - most of which was written by or under the direction of Gilbert Burnet, later Bishop of Salisbury - and the Declaration of reasons for appearing in arms in the kingdom of England released prior to William's invasion is essential in understanding "courtly reformation" ideology. Burnet, according to Claydon, rose to predominant court propagandist after his 1688 sermon in St. James, claiming, "That William's invasion had been favoured by God." (p. 31) This providentialism was to become central to all subsequent Orange propaganda, presenting the English as "a people of God" and finding that it was God's will that the Dutch invasion took place as "it had allowed the true church to strike a blow against its Satanic foe," the Catholic faith and James II. (p. 47) Courtly propaganda also proved crucial in excusing William's own widely known disdain for his new subjects, whom William found repellent. (p. 93) While William was abroad, engaged in the continental war against Louis XIV’s Catholic France, Burnet and court propagandists turned to Queen Mary II as the anchor of the “reformation.” Claydon maintains that the Queen became predominant in the "courtly reformation," an unimpeachable representation of godliness, known for her reputation for household sacredness and prayer. Further, as she was English and a Stuart – unlike her Dutch husband - and generally more accommodating of the court’s advisers than William, her prevalence in the “courtly reformation” is not surprising. (p. 94) In sum, Claydon believes that his study of the Orange court, in opposition to the exclusive focus on radical politics alone, will revive other historians’ interest in royal ideology post-Restoration. For Claydon, religion matters. The court influenced public policy “rather longer than the shift of attention [in the historiography] to party and country campaigns would imply." (p. 229)
Look for similar items by category
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > British Heads of State
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Ireland
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Norman and Medieval 1001-1500
- Books > History > Europe
- Books > History > World History
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Countries & Regions > Europe