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Freedom – Treason – Revolution

Uncollected Sources of the Political and Legal Culture of the London Treason Trials (1794)


Christoph Houswitschka

This anthology includes literary, legal and political texts mainly from the 1790s. They illustrate the dramatic circumstances under which several leading members of the radical reform movement in London were accused of high treason in 1794. The various radical and loyalist publications concerning these State Trials are indicative of England in the wake of the French Revolution – a society tormented by the fear of conspiracies. Certain social concerns and political agendas of that time remain essential for peace and freedom to this day – concerns about the dissolution of social values and institutions through radical reforms on the one hand, and striving for the distribution of knowledge, democratisation, political participation and social progress on the other hand.
Contents: High Treason Trials of 1794 – Conspiracy Theories – Law and Literature – French Revolution – Democratisation – Thomas Holcroft, John Horne Tooke, John Thelwall, Edmund Burke – Tom Paine.