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Locality, Metropolis and Nation: The Impact of the Military Camps in England during the American War

STEPHEN CONWAY
History
Vol. 82, No. 268 (October 1997), pp. 547-562
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24424273
Page Count: 16
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Locality, Metropolis and Nation: The Impact of the Military Camps in England during the American War
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Abstract

The military camps established in England during the War of American Independence have been examined by historians as manifestations of anxiety about invasion, or as centres of intensive training, but no attempt has been made to consider them more fully. This article looks at the impact of the camps – economically, socially and culturally – on their immediate host localities, on London and on the nation as a whole. It is argued that, particularly in the years 1778–9, when fears of invasion were at their height, a veritable camp mania gripped the country. For the soldiers and militiamen who resided in the camps, for the thousands of civilian visitors, and even for the readers of contemporary periodicals and newspapers who devoured the regular columns of 'Camp Intelligence', the camps seem to have played an important role in increasing a sense of national consciousness.

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