The Origins of Modern English Society

The Origins of Modern English Society

The Origins of Modern English Society

The Origins of Modern English Society

Synopsis

Bringing together subjects such as culture, religion, morals, politics, economics, and mentality, Perkin presents and applies a holistic concept of social history in the tradition of great historians of the past.In this classic text of social history, Harold Perkin explores the emergence of a new form of class society in Victorian England, which differed radically from early modern society. He locates the origins of the modern English class system in the Industrial Revolution, the impact of which went beyond economy and technology, and changed the ways of living and perceptions of the English people in many ways. Origins of Modern English Society maintains its influence as a comprehensive and integrative survey of a crucial period in the development of English society.

Excerpt

In 1959, prompted by a commission from Colin Franklin of Routledge and Kegan Paul, I set out to discover the origins of modern English society. By this I meant the beginnings not only of the class society of Victorian England but also of the new society I felt in my bones was beginning to take shape in the aftermath of the Second World War. This was a society dominated no longer by agricultural landlords and bourgeois industrialists but by a new race of specialists-corporate managers, bureaucrats and the purveyors of intellectual services to a much more complex and sophisticated population. So confident was I in my sense of the direction in which social evolution was tending that I called the proposal 'the rise of professional society'. Little did I know then that this modest task would take some thirty years and split into two parts: the rise of Victorian class society from the old pre-class society of early modern times, and its replacement in the twentieth century by professional society itself.

The time span was not entirely due to the scale of the research and writing but had to be achieved in the interstices of a busy career, inaugurating the first undergraduate and postgraduate courses in social history in Britain, editing a series of monographs in the subject, founding the Social History Society, engaging in discussions with government in the Robbins expansion of higher education, negotiating salaries for the Association of University Teachers, helping the new University of Lancaster get off the ground, writing and presenting two series of programmes on the impact of modern transport and communications on people's lives for Granada Television, participating in international studies in higher

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