Town, City, and Nation: England, 1850-1914

Town, City, and Nation: England, 1850-1914

Town, City, and Nation: England, 1850-1914

Town, City, and Nation: England, 1850-1914

Synopsis

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the development of English conurbations, suburbs, satellite towns, garden cities, and seaside resorts, and is also a vivid social history of nineteenth and early twentieth- century England.

Excerpt

Urban historians who address a general audience customarily start with some justification, even propaganda, for their work. the reason is that the study of towns and cities is mostly eccentric to the history taught in colleges and schools or submerged within other traditions of inquiry, such as the growth of industrialization or the rise of social and political democracy. Recent years have seen several ventures, with urban history courses or 'special subjects' provided by several universities; but entire omission or nodding condescension remains common. Some urban historians feel slighted by this. They mutter darkly about an unthinking conservatism gripping those who devise syllabuses. Others quietly acknowledge that there are problems in studying urban history.

A marriage of history with economics, geography, and sociology is not easily negotiated; but urbanists have difficulty foremost in convincing their historian colleagues of the value and coherence of towns and cities as an organizing principle of history. Except perhaps for the half-century before 1850, when rapid urbanization was manifestly novel and too shocking to be ignored, there seems little point in giving towns and cities especial prominence. in earlier times there was allegedly too little urbanization to warrant more than passing attention; in modern times too much to handle with proper dexterity.

The publications of Peter Clark and Paul Slack, Crisis and Order in English Towns, 1500-1700 (1972), and English Towns in Transition, 1500-1700 (1976), have dispelled the suspicion that urbanization in the centuries before the period of classic industrial revolution is too petty for study. the modern urban historian has never had to fight to establish the importance of his towns and cities. By the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the urban was the normal. Herein lies the challenge to the modern urban historian: how can the study of towns and cities supply a sharp focus for the discrimination of particular trends when the urban condition was common to most people at this time? Urban history allegedly is invertebrate, most like . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.