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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 Material Life of the Militiaman

The Material Life of the Militiaman

(p.123) 7 The Material Life of the Militiaman
Embodying the Militia in Georgian England

Matthew McCormack

Oxford University Press

This chapter employs recent approaches to the history of material culture in order to ask new questions about military ‘experience’. It argues that material culture studies is a potential meeting place for military and cultural historians, given the former’s preoccupation with practical minutiae and the latter’s recent interest in concrete practices. Military uniforms are usually conceptualized in terms of display, but what material significance did they have for the wearer? And how did subtle distinctions between uniforms convey messages about military rank, social class, and regimental identity? This chapter also thinks about the everyday experience of living in a military camp. The spatial arrangements and routines of these temporary towns are of great interest to the cultural historian. They reveal the authorities’ concern with the health, discipline, and morality of their troops, and the means by which these were optimized through careful management.

Keywords:   militia, military camps, military uniforms, material culture, space, American Revolutionary War

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