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The Writing of Urban Histories in Eighteenth-Century England$
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Rosemary Sweet

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206699

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206699.001.0001

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Urban Identity and Provinciality

Urban Identity and Provinciality

Chapter:
(p.236) 6 Urban Identity and Provinciality
Source:
The Writing of Urban Histories in Eighteenth-Century England
Author(s):

Rosemary Sweet

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206699.003.0007

This chapter discusses the issues of civic identity, urban consciousness, and urban culture. It demonstrates how customs, rituals, traditions, and combinations of local circumstances and historical precedents generated a sense of urban identity which could find expression in urban histories in many towns. Urban histories were based upon the conception of the town as a unitary body and the assumption that there was a kind of civic ideal with which all the inhabitants could identify and a common culture to which they belonged. This chapter also suggests that in urban histories, there is strong proof of a provincial urban identity which could co-exist with an increasing sense of national identity and the development of a middle-class consciousness.

Keywords:   civic identity, urban consciousness, urban culture, customs, traditions, urban histories, urban identity

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