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POLI 212- FEBRUARY 10 Conference.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 212
Hudson Meadwell

FEBRUARY 10, 2012: Conference  Geographic positioning in British history: fosters a uniquely British identity (not a European identity) and in the past, prevented them from being invaded→ a psychological and practical element. They didn’t need to maintain a large standing army, which meant attention could be shifted from cultivating a strong martial class; they didn’t have an army to quell rebellion so co-operation with other groups, and they could build up their navy instead.  General model of political development: largely incremental and relatively stable, as opposed to France, which had frequently changing regimes over a short period of time.  Magna Carta (1215) was significant because it was the first attempt by landowners to put constitutional restrictions on the arbitrary powers of the king. (Provisions related to inheritance, who would take care of so-and-so’s widow, etc.) It shows a lot about the attitude towards women in that time period (“authorities were not to accept the accusation of a woman against a man unless he killed her husband”). It was an attempt to standardize occupation between landowners and the king and tried to set limits on the amount of time that these landowners would have to give over to the King. It was an attempt to assure the prerogatives of the city of London for commerce. The idea was to facilitate trade in the event of a military conflict another country. It was the first attempt to try to limit the power of the king and put him under the rule of law. There is a lot of historiography attached to it→ an important symbolic step.  Geo-politically: When did the British Empire become the main European overseas empire? The golden age was during the Victorian era and inaugurated in 1815 (Napol
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