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Soldiers as CitizensPopular Politics and the Nineteenth-Century British Military$
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Nick Mansfield

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620863

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620863.001.0001

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Radicalism and the Military, 1790–1860

Radicalism and the Military, 1790–1860

(p.28) 3 Radicalism and the Military, 1790–1860
Soldiers as Citizens

Nick Mansfield

Liverpool University Press

This chapter reviews radical political attitudes to the military, especially criticism of purchase of officers’ commissions and the punishment floggings of the rank and file. It gives an account of radical military theory, particularly the impractical concepts of a ‘people in arms’ and pike warfare. It concludes that attempts by radicals to win over as soldiers as friends, had mixed results but that soldiers often possessed knowledge of radical ideas and political events. This even extended to soldiers siding with the people in riots against the authorities. Radicalism was also carried overseas by some soldiers and emerged in parts of the new British Empire. The chapter makes a particular study of key radical ex-soldier figures like John Cartwright, William Cobbett and Richard Carlile.

Keywords:   Radicalism, Radical military theory, John Cartwright, William Cobbett, Richard Carlile, Radicalism in Empire, Soldiers’ riots

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