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English Smugglers, the Channel, and the Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1814

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Daly, G (2007) English Smugglers, the Channel, and the Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1814. Journal of British Studies, 46 (1). pp. 30-46. ISSN 0021-9371

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Abstract

During the NapoleonicWars the Channel between England and France
remained a major site for smuggling. Both the British and French
governments faced this problem. From the French perspective,
banned English textiles flooded continental markets; from the British perspective,
smugglers evaded duties on continental goods landed on local shores and illegally
shipped people and goods out of Britain to France and the Netherlands. While
the smuggling of English textiles into Napoleonic-controlled Europe has become
part of the history of the Continental Blockade, very little has been written on
the contraband flows into and out of Britain and on the English smugglers who
were the principal agents in a trans-Channel smuggling community.1 This article
aims to address this neglect, throwing new light on the nature of the Channel
and its coastal communities and offering further insights into the contested historical
questions of identity, patriotism, and Anglo-French relations during the
Napoleonic Wars. At the same time that the British state and its people were at
war with Napoleonic France and its satellite states, English subjects along the
Channel shore continued to trade illegally with the enemy, with the Channel
proving a permeable border rather than an impenetrable defensive barrier.
In general, English smuggling during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries
remains an underdeveloped field of historical inquiry.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of British Studies
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Page Range: pp. 30-46
ISSN: 0021-9371
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1086/508397
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:12
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:33
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