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Unity and Diversity in European Culture c.1800$
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Tim Blanning and Hagen Schulze

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263822

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263822.001.0001

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Art in a Cool Climate: The Cultural Policy of the British State in European Context, c. 1780 to c. 1850*

Art in a Cool Climate: The Cultural Policy of the British State in European Context, c. 1780 to c. 1850*

Chapter:
(p.100) (p.101) Art in a Cool Climate: The Cultural Policy of the British State in European Context, c. 1780 to c. 1850*
Source:
Unity and Diversity in European Culture c.1800
Author(s):

Peter Mandler

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263822.003.0007

Is it possible to speak of a ‘cultural policy’ of the ‘State’ in this period without falling into anachronism? Patronage of the fine arts had been a traditional (self-selected) responsibility of individual nobles and princes. Although sovereign nobles and princes were taking on in this period more explicit responsibilities for police and for more of their people, it is often difficult to distinguish between their activities as individual patrons, their activities as courtly patrons, and their activities as States. This chapters examines what was distinctive about the British State and its cultural policies in the period during and after the Napoleonic Wars. It argues that both the British State and its posture towards culture carried certain features that put them in the Western European mainstream towards the end of the eighteenth century. It also assesses the extent to which Britain was also affected by events in Europe, by which the fine arts were yoked bureaucratically to education and religion in programmes of national integration.

Keywords:   Britain, fine arts, cultural policy, Europe, education, religion, patronage, culture, police, nobles

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