Victorian England: Aspects of English and Imperial History, 1837-1901

By L. C. B. Seaman | Go to book overview

2


Age of Steam

From west to east, and from north to south, the mechanical principle, the philosophy of the nineteenth century, will spread and extend itself. The world has received a new impulse. The genius of the age, like a mighty river of the new world, flows onward, full, rapid, irresistible.

HENRY BOOTH, treasurer of the
Liverpool and Manchester Railway, 1830

The term manufacture is no longer confined to its original signification—the production of human manipulation—but is now generally applied to articles made by machinery, from raw materials, supplied by a beneficent Providence, for adaptation by the industry and ingenuity of man for the wants and enjoyments of civilized society.

LEWIS D. B. GORDON, Regius Professor of
Mechanics, University of Glasgow, 1851

The breakthrough towards an industrialized society had already occurred before the Victorian period began. But although, taking the long-term view, the transformation proceeded with ever-increasing momentum throughout the century, this was by no means how contemporaries always saw it. In the six years after the wars with Napoleon there were serious doubts that the expansion of the previous thirty years could be maintained. Though the years from 1831 to 1836 were a time of considerable growth this was not reflected in any marked increase in real wages, while from 1836 to 1842

-25-

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Victorian England: Aspects of English and Imperial History, 1837-1901
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - People of the Book 4
  • 2 - Age of Steam 25
  • 3 - Disease and Drudgery 41
  • 4 - Lord John and Sir Robert 62
  • 5 - Patriotism Prevails 82
  • 6 - Lord Pumicestone 103
  • 7 - The People's Darling 124
  • 8 - Leap in the Dark 153
  • 9 - Towards a Modern State 168
  • 10 - Towards a Modern State 189
  • 11 - Beaconsfieldism and Midlothianism 206
  • 12 - Cloud in the West 232
  • 13 - The Great Depression: Fact and Fiction 262
  • 14 - Death of Liberal England 280
  • 15 - Birth of the Twentieth Century 299
  • 16 - Imperial Pre-Eminence 331
  • 17 - African Scramble 354
  • 18 - A Clash of Empires 375
  • 19 - Recessional 397
  • 20 - New Ways for Old 416
  • 21 - Queen and Mother 435
  • Index 463
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