Files in this item



application/pdf8924848.pdf (21MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:"To take for truth the test of ridicule": Public perceptions, political controversy, and English political caricature, 1815-1821
Author(s):Hunt, Tamara Lisa
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Arnstein, Walter L.
Department / Program:History, European
Political Science, General
Discipline:History, European
Political Science, General
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
Political Science, General
Abstract:England experienced numerous domestic disturbances in the half-dozen years that followed the close of the Napoleonic wars, during which time graphic satire on the Prince Regent and his government flourished. Undoubtedly, many of those in positions of power worried that common people might "take for truth the test of ridicule" prominent in these prints, an event that would be fatal to the existing political structure of the country. The contemporary caricatures which satirically and sometimes savagely attacked the government, however, indicate that a variety of beliefs and traditional concepts helped to form public perceptions about the causes and implications of large-scale domestic disturbances and the government responses to those events.
Contemporary caricatures indicate that the public seemed unwilling to believe either the government's assertions that the country teetered on the brink of revolution or the claims of some reformers that only radical political reform could save the country from a tyrannical government. The course of contemporary events played a major part in the formation of the public's perceptions, but the symbolism and content of contemporary political caricatures indicates that public perceptions about events, such as the ongoing political unrest, were often colored by traditional beliefs and ideals, such as the strong belief in the right of all Englishmen to claim the protection of the British constitution in matters of freedom of speech and petition. Other attitudes, such as xenophobia and a sense of moral justice (revealed by acts of charivari or "rough music"), played a more subtle role in influencing the impressions the public formed about the political situation of post-war England. Caricatures clearly reveal the importance of the connection between these attitudes and beliefs and politics during the post-war agitation in Britain.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Hunt, Tamara Lisa
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924848
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924848

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics