English Radicalism

English Radicalism

English Radicalism

English Radicalism


"My sentiments on the subject of Parliamentary Reform are formed on the experience of TWENTY-SIX YEARS, which, whether in or out of Government, have equally convinced me that the restoration of a genuine House of Commons, by a renovation of the rights of the people, is the only remedy against that system of corruption which has brought the nation to disgrace and poverty, and threatens it with the loss of liberty."

The Duke of Richmond to William Frankland, High Sheriff of Sussex, 1783. (Quoted in Henry Brookes's Introduction (1859) to the Duke's Right of the People to Universal Suffrage and Annual Parliaments clearly demonstrated. 1783.)

"Never did so great an opportunity offer itself to England, and to all Europe, as is produced by the two revolutions of America and France. By the former, freedom has a national champion in the Western world; and by the latter in Europe. When another nation shall join France, despotism and bad government will scarcely dare to appear. To use a trite expression, the iron is become hot all over Europe. The insulted German and the enslaved Spaniard, the Russ and the Pole all begin to think. The present age will hereafter merit to be called the Age of Reason. . . ."

From PAINE'S Rights of Man, Second part, 1792.

". . . before a labourer can have a loaf of bread, he must give a quantity of labour more than the loaf costs by all that quantity which pays the profits of the farmer, the corn dealer, the miller and the baker, with profit on all the buildings they use; and he must moreover pay with the produce of his labour the rent of the landlord. How much more labour a labourer must give to have a loaf of bread than the loaf cost, it is impossible for me to say. I should probably underrate it were I to state it at six times; or were I to say that the real cost of that loaf, for which the labourer must pay sixpence, is one penny. Of this, however, I am quite certain, that the Corn Laws, execrable as they are in principle, and mischievous as they are to the whole community, do not impose anything like so heavy a tax on the labourer, as capital. . . ."

From Labour Defended against the Claims of Capital or the Unproductiveness of Capital Proved, by a Labourer (THOMAS HODGSKIN), 1825. Second edition.

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