The British Way
This chapter discusses the great Händel Commemoration and how it exemplified the consolidation of a national culture of great power and durability. This posthumous apotheosis reveals a good deal about the development of British culture in the 18th century. In addition, it explains that the Protestant Reformation greatly intensified nationalism. Religious independence was then underpinned by a surge of cultural nationalism. Under Queen Elizabeth, resolutely Protestant and impeccably English, cultural achievement was married to political success to form a powerful source of legitimation. This chapter examines the sources of England’s wealth, particularly the advance of commerce which made the strongest and most widespread impression. Next, it discusses the country’s fourth national asset — liberty. It then explores the life of King George III.
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