Graphic satire and the rise and fall of the First British Empire: political prints from the Seven Years' War to the Treaty of Paris, c. 1756-1783

Karhapää, Henna Veera (2016) Graphic satire and the rise and fall of the First British Empire: political prints from the Seven Years' War to the Treaty of Paris, c. 1756-1783. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis examines the early stages of the transformation of emblematic political prints into political caricature from the beginning of the Seven Years' War (1756) to the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War (1783). Both contextual and iconographical issues are investigated in relation to the debates occasioned by Britain's imperial project, which marked a period of dramatic expansion during the Seven Years' War, and ended with the loss of the American colonies, consequently framing this thesis as a study of political prints during the rise and fall of the so-called 'First British Empire'. Previous studies of eighteenth-century political prints have largely ignored the complex and lengthy evolutionary process by which the emblematic mode amalgamated with caricatural representation, and have consequently concluded that political prints excluded emblems entirely by the end of the 1770s. However, this study emphasizes the significance of the Wilkite movement for the promotion and preservation of emblems, and investigates how pictorial political argument was perceived and received in eighteenth-century British society, arguing that wider tastes and opinions regarding the utilization of political prints gradually shifted to accept both modes of representation. Moreover, the marketplace, legal status, topicality, and manufacturing methods of political prints are analyzed in terms of understanding the precarious nature of their consumption and those that endeavoured to engage in political printmaking. The evolution, establishment, and subsequent appropriation of pictorial tropes is discussed from the early modern period to the beginning of the so-called Golden Age of caricature, while tracing the adaptation of representational models in American colonial prints that employed emblems already entrenched in British pictorial political debate. Political prints from the two largest print collections, the British Museum and the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale are consulted, along with a number of eighteenth-century newspapers and periodicals, to develop the earlier research by M. Dorothy George, Charles Press, Herbert Atherton, Diana Donald, Amelia Rauser, and Eirwen Nicholson.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online, an edited version has been uploaded. The print version is also available for reference only in the Library.
Keywords: Graphic satire, First British Empire, eighteenth century, political prints, caricature, Emblem, Emblem books, Matthew and Mary Darly, Lord John Bute, Admiral John Byng, James Gillray, William Hogarth, George Townshend, William Pitt, Henry Fox, Charles James Fox, Macaroni, John Wilkes, George III, Stamp Act, American Revolutionary War, Treaty of Paris, Seven Years' War.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
E History America > E151 United States (General)
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Supervisor's Name: Munck, Professor Thomas and Hancock, Mrs. Elizabeth
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Miss Henna Karhapää
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7509
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2016 07:20
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2022 17:43
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.7509

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