This introductory chapter surveys the recent historiography of British popular politics during the French Revolution. It explains the ambiguous and shifting meanings of loyalism, radicalism, and patriotism in Britain in this period. It also briefly summarizes the origins of radicalism in Lancashire, as well as a chronology of politics in parliament. The chapter stresses the distinctiveness of the region, but offers some caveats in the scope and scale of research during the Napoleonic wars.
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