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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

Thoughts on the British Constitution

Belfast Politics, arguably one of the most important texts in modern Irish history, appeared in 1794 as a collection of twenty essays outlining a moderate political position in the increasingly polarised politics of 1790s Ireland. It contains the seeds of the so-called ’transformation’ of so many late eighteenth-century Ulster radicals into the Unionists of the early nineteenth-century. Although sharing many of the political principles and much of the language which inspired the United Irishmen, including support for the American Revolution and the use of civic humanist and Enlightenment discourse, Bruce and Joy maintained that these ideas were consistent with, and best served within, the framework of the British constitution, and their book was unique in bringing an inclusive notion of ’Britishness’ to the mainstream Irish reform movement.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by John Bew Preface by William Bruce and Henry Joy Thoughts on the British Constitution I-XX Editor’s notes

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