A Desperate Business: Wellington, the British Army and the by Ian Fletcher

By Ian Fletcher

This can be the tale of the Waterloo crusade from the point of view of the British military. Uniquely, it starts with the break-up of Wellington's military on the finish of the Peninsular warfare, keeps with the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo, after which examines the combating that undefined, as Wellington's military driven directly to Paris

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10 Here Fletcher set out to contrast the system of liberty which he thought had been enshrined in a Gothic constitution and the state of political corruption which 22 The Scottish Enlightenment existed in the commercial civilization of his own age. He held that virtue had been possible in Gothic times because the distribution of military power between the king and his barons had established a balance of power favourable to liberty. Trade, learning and luxury had destroyed that Gothic constitution, replacing it with a system of commerce which had encouraged landowners to commute their civil and military responsibilities for a tax on their estates.

44 For the rise of commerce threatened the position of those ancient landed families on whose shoulders the task of preserving the nation's independence had always rested. As Sir John Dalrymple put it, 'A Nation without families will either become unfeeling to its liberties or abuse them'. 46 By 1760 parliament had finally agreed to allow the English counties to raise a militia to cope with the threat of a French invasion. It was confidently expected that the Scottish counties would shortly be allowed to do so too.

The fact that they finally agreed to the 24 The Scottish Enlightenment English parliament's terms is evidence of the power of political management. But it is also evidence to the strength of an ideological conviction that it was possible to conceive of Scotland as an independent nation even without free political institutions. The irascible, anglophobic Fletcher took no part in this final debate about the Anglo-Scottish union; its paradoxes were clearly too much for him. But the influence of his analysis of Scottish politics is everywhere apparent.

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