England in Transition, 1789-1832: A Study of Movements

England in Transition, 1789-1832: A Study of Movements

England in Transition, 1789-1832: A Study of Movements

England in Transition, 1789-1832: A Study of Movements

Excerpt

At the close of the eighteenth century England was emerging from a survival of mediæ?val conditions into the latest phase of its modern life. The French Revolution contributed materially to this process, not as the parent of democracy which in England was of earlier and native growth, but because it called in question the permanence of all institutions and re-constituted politics on a conservative and a liberal basis. In the reaction caused by this event forces hitherto little more than latent in the Church were roused to an activity which under Evangelical or sacerdotal auspices has continued ever since; the first popular agitation directed to a wholly humanitarian aim was at the same time in progress; and lastly, the industrial organisation, urban and rural, with all that this meant to the mass of the people, was then being moulded into its present shape. It need hardly be said that none of these forces--political, religious, philanthropic and social--had sprung suddenly into being; and our first task must be to trace and account for their growth.

The political movement which culminated at the close of our period did not definitely assert itself till . . .

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