America and the Atlantic Community: Anglo-American Aspects, 1790-1850

By Frank Thistlethwaite | Go to book overview

2. British Political Radicals and the United States

T HE Anglo-American connection transcended the facts of economic geography. Along the North Atlantic trade route there moved, not only goods, but people, the carriers of technical, philanthropic, religious and political ideas. The Atlantic economy supported a structure of social relations which bound together important elements in Britain and the United States.

The years between 1815 and the Crimean War were England's great Age of Reform, in many ways equivalent to America's Age of Jackson. In England, the political and social hierarchy of the eighteenth century was exposed to attack from a new social order demanding access to power and a re-vamping of institutions. The rebellious spirit which had led religious "Separatists" to New England persisted at home among those Independents, Baptists and Quakers who "dissented" from the official Church of England; and this spirit consorted well with that of growing numbers of tradesmen, manufacturers and artisans who chafed against the privileged order of land and status. These classes tended to be non-conformist, not merely in religion, but in a broader sense, outsiders, who refused to accept that state of life to which God had been pleased to call them, and who refused to conform to the traditional duties of an hierarchical order. Radical in politics and radical in religion, they forced the pace of social change.

At that time there was a marked contrast between the Eng

-39-

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America and the Atlantic Community: Anglo-American Aspects, 1790-1850
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • 1. the Economic Relation 3
  • 2. British Political Radicals and the United States 39
  • 3. the Anglo-American World of Humanitarian Endeavor 76
  • 4. Freedom for Slaves and Women 103
  • 5. Cross-Currents in Educational Reform 134
  • 6. the Nature and Limits of the Atlantic Connection 151
  • Index 207
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