The Age of Reform, 1815-1870

By E. L. Woodward | Go to book overview

III
RELIGION AND THE CHURCHES

THE established church of England, richly endowed and privileged, had in 1815 at least the external support of almost the whole of the upper class, and, in most country districts, of the greater part of the population. There was a small Roman catholic minority, denied full civil rights, but living quietly and without political importance. Irish immigration increased the number of Roman catholics, but most of these immigrants were very poor people whose troubles were econo mic rather than political. There was a much larger minority of protestant dissenters,1 also without full civil rights, though less hampered in practice by disabilities than the Roman catholics. In Wales, and in some parts of England, there were more dissenters than churchmen; in Scotland presbyterianism was far stronger than any other denomination. Except in the west of England and parts of East Anglia and the north, the nonconformists belonged mainly to the shopkeeping and lower middle class of the towns. The poor, at least in the great towns, were largely pagan, with a veneer of religious observance and much hidden superstition. The effect of religious belief upon conduct was most marked in the middle class. It is impossible to reduce the significance of personal religion to averages; religious indifference is not a mean between atheism and faith, but personal religion would seem to have been widespread, though it was far less orthodox than the official custodians of doctrine in church or chapel were inclined to believe.

It has been said that the consolation of belief and the emotional character of protestant dissent in England saved the country from political revolution and that the atheism of English jacobins lost them much support.2 There is some truth

____________________
1
The term 'nonconformist', though of venerable use in England, was less commonly employed than 'dissenter' in the early years of the nineteenth century; the words 'dissent' and 'dissenter' were less frequently used during the latter years of the century because they were associated too closely with the dislike of strict anglicans for the nonconforming denominations. The terms were rarely given their strict legal meaning, and, in common speech, a dissenter was always a non- conformist, and vice versa.
2
'It was God's mercy to our age that our Jacobins were infidels, and a scandal

-483-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Age of Reform, 1815-1870
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 699

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.