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Monarch-Love; or, How the Prince of Wales Saved the Union

Monarch-Love; or, How the Prince of Wales Saved the Union

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter One Monarch-Love; or, How the Prince of Wales Saved the Union
Source:
Anglophilia
Author(s):
Elisa Tamarkin
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226789439.003.0001

This chapter traces the democratic fascination with both the sacred rituals of state and the personalized authority of the British monarchy, while attempting to make sense of the symbolic value of such prepolitical attachments. It considers not only the comparative aesthetics of governmental power but also how such psychic projections onto the forms and practices of a monarchy elsewhere helped to address the political moment at home. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, Americans indulged in a cult of reverence toward Britain's monarchy not to express their loyalty to Queen Victoria but to experience a compensatory and archaic sense of attachment to the idea of a state unlike their own. Redefining allegiance as a felt response to dignity and grandeur (as embodied in a queen), Americans who loved Victoria found new ways to love America: they conceived of a different sort of patriotism than that enacted by the rational bonds of democratic ideology.

Keywords:   state, British monarchy, government power, patriotism, Queen Victoria

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