The Dundas Despotism

The Dundas Despotism

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This volume presents a biography of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (1742-1811) and of his son Robert, 2nd Viscount Melville (1771-1851). With other members of their family they governed Scotland from the 1770s to the 1830s, a regime dubbed "the Dundas despotism" and conventionally seen as a corrupt and underhand period in British history. This account radically revises this view and shows instead that the Dundases sought and achieved good government within conventional political parameters. It charts their relationship to the Scottish Enlightenment, describing how Scots applied enlightened ideas in the spirit of progressive paternalism, believing that they would maintain a conservative social order. Above all, it sets out the Dundases' part in making the 1707 Union between Scotland and England work, after nearly a century in which it had never fully done so. The book uses primary and secondary information culled from sources in England, Scotland, Ireland and the United States, and also contains details of the part played by Henry Dundas in the Warren Hastings affair and the growth of the British Raj in India.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 31.75mm | 695g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrated
  • Illustrated edition
  • geneal. table,map
  • 0748603522
  • 9780748603527

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