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Embodying the Militia in Georgian England$
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Matthew McCormack

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703648.001.0001

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The Militia in Satirical Prints

The Militia in Satirical Prints

(p.54) 3 The Militia in Satirical Prints
Embodying the Militia in Georgian England

Matthew McCormack

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the way that the militia was visually represented throughout the eighteenth century. In particular, it focuses on satirical prints, which had a prominent role in the agitation for the New Militia (the architect of the institution, George Townshend, was himself a caricaturist) and had an important bearing on its subsequent reputation. The amateur soldier was peculiarly vulnerable to visual mockery, and the medium of the satirical print explored anxieties about the military effectiveness of the militia during the American and French Wars. This chapter argues that satirical prints played a key role in constituting the institution in the Georgian visual imagination, and that the visual figure of the militiaman informed caricature’s ongoing debate about Britain’s military and moral strength.

Keywords:   militia, satirical prints, art history, Seven Years War, American Revolutionary War, Napoleonic Wars

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