Empire and law, ‘Firmly united by the circle of the British diadem’
in Britain and its internal others, 1750–1800
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This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book traces the British interactions between a legal event, its imperial others, and the sources that circulated in the public sphere. It considers the struggles between and among legal authorities and subjects as they negotiated the fine line between Anglican English men and the many who called London home but were not considered English. The book explores an element of what contemporaries would have recognized as the characteristics of rule of law. It focuses on the discussion of the constitution and whether or not a Parliament can lawfully disband itself as London's Westminster planned to do in the Acts of Union. The book examines the Acts that abolished Ireland's Parliament, granting 100 seats to Irish MPs in Westminster's House of Commons and 28 seats to Irish Peers in the House of Lords.


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