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An Enquiry into the State of the Nation, 1801

"A full and correct report" of a speech by the prominent Whig politician Charles James Fox, made against the backdrop of a European war. Fox attacks the foreign policies and military strategy of the government, headed by William Pitt the younger, and counters Pitt's accusation that his opponents were Jacobins - radical supporters of the French Revolution. The speech is trailed on the front cover of the pamphlet as suggesting that the people should “separate themselves” from the disgrace of their rulers, “equally incapable of making peace, as they were of conducting war" against Napoleon Bonaparte.

The speech was made in the House of Commons as part of the debate over a motion by the future Whig Prime Minister Charles Grey for "an enquiry into the state of the nation". A list of the "minority" - those who voted in favour of the defeated motion - is given at the back.

The pamphlet is, rather unexpectedly, included in the archives of the Staff Side of the National Whitley Council for the Civil Service (document reference: MSS.296/6/1/9), and can be read in full through the Modern Records Centre's online catalogue.

An enquiry into the state of the nation