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Great Expectations: Futurity in the Long Eighteenth Century

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Edited By Mascha Hansen and Jürgen Klein

What did eighteenth-century men and women think about when they contemplated the future? What was hidden in the «dark bosom of futurity», as Richardson’s Pamela calls it? Do all types of literature that supply a critique of the present conjure up an idealized past or a vision of a better future? Predictions and prophecies – not only astrological but also political ones, utopian models, theological concepts like predestination, progress in the sciences, and, last but not least, life-after-death, both in the form of secular fame and the immortal soul, are among the topics addressed by the essays collected in this volume.

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“THE FORTY-FIVE”: BRITISH MODERNISATION AND THE FIRST GLIMPSES OF THE END OF THE HISTORICAL CHRONOTOPE, Jürgen Klein

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“THE FORTY-FIVE”: BRITISH MODERNISATION AND THE FIRST GLIMPSES OF THE END OF THE HISTORICAL CHRONOTOPE Jürgen Klein, EMA Universität Greifswald In his 1958 text Race and History Claude Lévi-Strauss introduced the pair of concepts, cold and warm societies,1 by which he characterizes the structural clash between archaic, so-called ‘primitive’ and ‘stationary’ cultures2 and pro- gressive Western societies defined by the idea of ‘cumulative’ history.3 Lévi- Strauss’s argumentative starting point presupposes “that [in the 1958 state of scientific knowledge] there is no justification for asserting that any one race is intellectually superior or inferior to another.”4 It is doubtful whether this insight has even now achieved the status of a common conviction and maxim of action in the Western world, and it is a truism to say that neither early twentieth- century anthropologists and ethnologists5 nor the general opinion in European countries have ever cared for the idea of the intellectual equality of man. The prejudice of the cultural inequality or inferiority of “archaic” ethnic groups cannot exclusively be applied to extra-European societies, being also relevant for the European scene. Thus the Celtic heritage in Scotland has been suppressed by the English at least from the eighteenth century onwards, and es- pecially after the “Forty-Five.” Already after the 1715 rebellion – led by Prince James Edward Stuart, son of King James II – the English General Wade built 250 miles of roads. He formed four companies of “friendly Highlanders,” later to be combined into the Black Watch...

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