Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

'Turning out for twenty-days amusement': the militia in Georgian satirical prints

McCormack, M. (2009) 'Turning out for twenty-days amusement': the militia in Georgian satirical prints. Paper presented to: Civilians and War in Europe, c.1640-1815, University of Liverpool, 18-20 June 2009. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract: This paper will consider a key interface between the military and civilian worlds, the militia, and the ways in which this military instituion was visually represented in popular culture. The milita was a favourite subject for printmakers in the second half of the eighteenth century. The amateur soldier was undoubtedly an easy target for visual mockery, but this paper will suggest that the relationship between the satirical print and the militia was a close and reciprocal one. The classic ‘caricature’ and the ‘New Militia’ were the creation of one man, George Townshend, and their subsequent fortunes paralleled and intersected with one another. Visual representations both reflected and contributed towards the ongoing debate about the institution. Prints were a key vehicle in the agitation for militia reform and militia subjects were common during the embodiments of the American and French wars, exploring anxieties about military effectiveness, the large militia encampments and the implications of arming civilians. In particular, this paper will focus on questions of gender, exploring the various ways in which the prints insinuated that the militiaman’s masculinity was compromised: for example, he was frequently located in heterosocial quasidomesic settings or in the sexualised playground of the camp. A study of visual culture can therefore contribute to our understanding of the role of the militia in social, political and military commentary
Uncontrolled Keywords: Britain 1750-1800; military volunteering; satirical prints
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA40 Political, military, naval, and Air Force history
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ1075 Sex role
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing. Design. Illustration > NC1300 Pictorial humor, caricature, manga, etc.
N Fine Arts > NE Print media > NE1 Printmaking and engraving
Creators: McCormack, Matthew
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > History
Date: 19 June 2009
Date Type: Presentation
Event Title: Civilians and War in Europe, c.1640-1815
Event Dates: 18-20 June 2009
Event Location: University of Liverpool
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Unpublished

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