The 300 years between the accession of the Tudors and the loss of the American colonies witnessed one of history’s great national transformations: the creation of ‘Britain’ and its emergence as the world’s greatest maritime power. This age saw the break with Rome and the establishment of English and Scottish Protestant kingdoms; the beginning of party politics; the forging of a powerful, high-taxing centralized state out of the chaos of the mid-seventeenth-century Civil Wars; and the winning and losing of Britain’s ‘first’ empire in America.
In this wide-ranging new study, David Scott challenges traditional assumptions about how Britain achieved her global might. Patriotism and constitutional ideals competed with baser motives, or were sidelined by the impact of dynastic accident and the vagaries of war. LEVIATHAN tells the story of the religious fanaticism, political hatred, profiteering, and hunger for power that made Britain great.