British Nationalism In Linda Colley's Britons: Forging The Nation

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Linda Colley’s novel Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 explores how British Nationalism developed in the period between the Act of Union in 1707 and the coronation of Queen Victoria. The Act of Union was the official document the united Scotland with the Kingdom of England, which at the time consisted of England and Wales, to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Colley then goes into detail about different historical events that formed British nationalism including, but not limited to, various wars and religious movements.
Colley’s thesis is that despite being a part of the larger Kingdom of Great Britain (and later Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) England was able to maintain its own sense of nationalism due their shared religion of
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France not only had different conflicts with Great Britain directly but assisted with different British opponents, including the United States. According to Colley, the shear fear of France taking over different parts of the world caused the British to colonize lands that were not even Christian for the empire. In her words Protestantism for the British became, “a unifying and distinguishing bond [like] never before. (18)” Nationalism in Britain only became stronger with the Seven Years War. Support for the war had been, “remarkably and deceptively unanimous (103)” to the point where Scotland had some men recruited. “For the first time ever, the British army had been able to recruit men on a massive scale form the Scottish Highlands. (103)” In the words of Colley, the Seven Years War was the beginning of the newly formed United Kingdom showcasing their pride for their nation of nations in the fight against France. Something newly developed as previously, the English were the ones fighting the French by

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