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Arts and MindsHow the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation$
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Anton Howes

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182643

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182643.001.0001

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Peculiar Genius

Peculiar Genius

(p.61) 3 Peculiar Genius
Arts and Minds

Anton Howes

Princeton University Press

The chapter draws attention to the Anti-French sentiment in Britain that reached a fever pitch in 1756 when the two nations embarked on the Seven Years' War. It narrates how the Association of Anti-Gallicans, the Royal Society of Arts' predecessors, reacted to the declaration of war by seizing a couple of French ships and rescuing a handful of its English prisoners. It also describes how the Society used its premiums in order to secure essential materials for the waging of war, which often complemented the efforts of the government. The chapter identifies the members of the Society that were in close proximity to the centers of power and connected with the growing British state as officials and politicians or as merchants and manufacturers. It also mentions Stephen Hales, who suggested that naval improvements should be one of the Society's priorities.

Keywords:   Anti-French sentiment, Seven Years' War, Royal Society of Arts, British state, Stephen Hales, naval improvements

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