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British Civilisation (3rd Year Old System)

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British Civilisation (3rd Year Old System)

Post by dah_men on Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:58 am



The Tudor Dynasty: Henry VII and the

Henry VIII and the reformation

Anglicanism vs. Catholicism from Edward to

Queen Elizabeth and the religions settlement

The Tudor and foreign policy


The Stewart Dynasty

The accession of James I to the English
crown and his policy

Charles and his conflict with parliament
(the great civil war)


England as a protectorate and Oliver

The restoration of the republic and the
reign of Charles II

James II and the English Revolution

The revolution settlement

Early Hanoverian English

the prime minister cabinet and parliament

the industrial revolution


Henry the second became the new king of England as the result of the war of roses. He
adopted a number of polices either at national and international level, he was
an educated king.

National level:

Ha gave importance to the merchants
because he believed that business is good for the flourishing of the kingdom.

He supported the economic field,
and gave freedom to merchants to act freely.

He imposed the system of Feudalism
(Feudal judiciary system).

International level:

Henry VII tried to keep peace with
other European countries.

The German pay
Hanseatic League.

The impact of the war of roses on
the trading Activities of England.

England had relation in trade with the
Baltic and
Northern Europe.

During the civil war,
was so weak, so that the German traders replace the British in Baltic and
Northern Europe and that is why
lost an important foreign Market. (Baltic/Northern Europe).

Another market were lost, which was France and Italy because the British had a conflict with
French people. The only Market that England
were linked to it was middle land and Belgium.

Henry VII tried to improve his
market at the national level, and he also tried to keep peace with neighbor
kingdoms like France.

Henry VII was more powerful with
the previous monarch, because he had a larger peace of land, this means that he
had an important source of money (wealthy).

Henry VII was so powerful because
he had controlled the majority of the kingdoms.

Feudalism collapsed with the war of

Henry VII took the lands of the
death nobles and peoples who rebelled against him (The confiscation of land).

also enforced the judiciary system and he found his own army.

He imposed taxes upon certain
classes and that is why he accumulated a lot of money (when he died, he let the
kingdom treasure with 2 millions pounds).


Another important event took place in Europe, it was
the renaissance. There was a change in thinking started from Italy
effected the artistic and intellectual men, one of them was Leonardo da vinci.

This movement came to England
with the last two decades of the 15thC, by wealthy businessmen like
Humphrey Tiploft. It developed in
by Colt, Erasmus, Thomas Moor, and it was affected the intellectual artists and
the religious field.

Was the effect of the Renaissance on Italy
the same as England?

An important event took place in England on the two decades of the 15thC, it was
and intellectual, artist, scientific movement.

The Italian society was prospered, and they think of learning art, so they go back to
the Greek. This movement came by wealthy men like intellectual men and
businessmen and this movement spread in universities of
Cambridge by a young colt.

The English people felt jealous with religious men, because the renaissance affected the
religious men. They swear to abandon wealth, which mean they will live poor. And
the English Educators said that these practices of church were not corresponded
to what was demanded by the Bible.

This new learning came with a new thinking based on translation of the bible from Greek
to English. So an anticlerical movement was appeared against the church men.

Henry the Eighth:

Henry VIII was a sportive man, he was a good hunter and educated, he was catholic and he
studied in the University. He excommunicated laws, he was nationalistic, and he
was not against Catholicism, but the institution that manage this religion. He
was married with Catherine of Aragon (from Spain). Before that time, Catherine was the wife
of the brother of Henry, and when he died, the pope validated the marriage
between Catherine and Henry VIII, but Catherine could not bring to him a son,
because she was so older, so that Henry wanted to divorced of it, and that is
why the pope of Spain
refused this divorce

. Henry VIII decides to execute the
pope, and he entered in conflict with the Catholic Church. So that, the church
in England
changes from Roman church to Anglican Church. The king Philip of Spain got
angry, after that Henry married with Ann, and she brought a daughter. He also
married with Jame Simer because Ann committed adultery with other person



They supported the king Henry VIII, because he was so nationalistic, and they supported
him because the feared the Spain king. There was a change in political
field, and the king Henry VIII became the official authority. It was a national
and nationalistic movement.

Religious men:

there were two categories:

Clergy: they accepted to take part in the
meeting that the king had, they were families with the machinery government that
the king made, so they accepted.

Monks: they refused the authority of the king Henry
VIII, they lived separately, but that case did not influence on the English

Henry VIII ousted the monks, he confiscated their lands and their wealth and he gave
them to the merchants. He also imposed control on the bible, and established the
Anglican religion.

There were three kinds of peoples: intelereclic
feeling, catholic, and protestant.

Intelereclic: found that this
policy was owned their point of views (suitable).

Catholic: accepted the king
authority (represented the majority in

Protestant: they refused management
of the king.

English Reformation:

Henry VIII made a reformation which was political and different from the German
reformation, which was religious, so there was a break between the king Henry
VIII and the pope of England

Church was for Catholics and the temple for the Protestants. The bible was one bible,
but its interpretations were deferent.

The Catholics and Protestants believed in God and Trinity and Spirits. The bible was
written in Greek by Jewish (Old Testament, New Testament).

Henry VIII had one son (Edward VI) and two daughters (Mary and Elizabeth). After his
death, his son Edward VI replaced him. Edward VI was very young (9 years), his
maternal uncle had to control the kingdom (his name was Edward the Simmer). He
was the head of the Council of Protestants who ruled England.

the introduction of ?The Book Of Common Prayer? was a translation of the bible
from late Latin to English, because the Catholics master Latin. Latin meant the
return of Catholicism in England, and this
is why the council translates the bible in English (they tried to avoid
Catholicism because the council was made of Protestants).

After the death of Henry VIII, Mary, the daughter of Catherine of Aragon, was
Catholic and there ideas were in relation with the pope of
Spain, so Protestants were in danger. Mary was
not nationalistic; she had a Catholic education (religion and secular). The
first thing that she did is to organize a marriage with the king of
Spain. She became the vassal of the pope in
religion field, and she also the vassal of the king in the secular.

The Queen:

When they started criticise his eligibility and his policy, the king started to
think of the marriage with the Elizabeth, the sister of Mary.

Before her death, Mary had problems, one of them was the criticising of people
of her policy, but they could not do any thing, and the other problem was that
the king of Spain started thinking of the marriage of her
sister Elizabeth for the aim of taking her land. She was called the bloody Mary
because she killed three protestant brothers.

Henry VIII organized his information, he broke up with the pope of
Rome, he became the religious
authority of the English church, and he replaced the pope by himself.

Differences between Catholicism and Protestantism:

Catholics go the church freely, whereas the Protestants had no relation with the
pope, and for them it is wrong to do that, so they were against the Catholics.
For the Protestants, the church does not exist, but the temple does.

Both of them use the bible and believe in God. Bible was translated from Latin
to English.

Elizabeth, the Half Sister of Mary:

Religious issue:

What was the policy that was adopted by

broke the relationship with the Roman church as a result she became the
religious authority in
(the official religious authority in English church).

She brought back Protestantism, so it was closer to the Catholicism. It was
different from the one which had been applied during the reign of Edward (the
Anglican church of her father). She tried to satisfy Protestants and Catholics;
however, they organized a church against her to bring the Queen Mary of
to England.

She also arranged some sermons to be preacher during the church to the English
population. After that, it was a sin to rebel against the king of the Queen,
because they were considered as the servants of the God (representative of God
in England).

dangers faced the Queen Elizabeth:

The Internal Dangers:

The internal dangers were connected to the Catholics. First, the Catholic
population (English) rebelled against her because they wanted to replace her by
the Queen Mary, who was Catholic, and who had a closed relationship with
Elizabeth. But
tried to avoid internal problems.

The External Dangers:

Was the conflict of England with France
and Spain.
One of the two wanted to invade it because the pope asked them to do, and also
because England
became protestant. So France
and Spain wanted to conquest

Why did they invade it?

Because they wanted Mary to be their Queen, Mary grew up in France, she became
Catholic when she moved to France, she married a man in England, she decide to
kill him

, she killed him and decided to take
the throne, but Elizabeth knew that, se Elizabeth jailed her. France and Spain kings tried to help Mary but they failed.
So they organized a r rebellion, so Elizabeth didn't know what to do with Mary, either to kill
her or to keep her in jail.

The Queen Elizabeth decided to execute Mary because Mary stimulated the Spanish
king to invade England and take the Throne after her death.

The decision of Elizabeth
made the Spanish king invading
England, so English people were afraid of
powerfulness of Spanish army. This conflict carried on until the death of

Henry VIII and the Break with Rome

In Germany
the revolt against the church was primarily religious in nature, although it
possessed political implication; in England the situation was reversed. There the leader
was a monarch, Henry VIII (1509-1547) , not a priest. Henry broke with
not for theological reasons but because the pope would not annul his marriage to
Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, whom he had
married for dynastic reasons. Catherine had given Henry a daughter, Mary, but no
son, and Henry was convinced that the male heir was necessary if the newly
established Tudors were to endure as a dynasty and England kept from reverting to anarchy. Catherine
was the widow of his brother, and Church law forbade a man to marry his
brother?s widow. A special papal dispensation had been granted for the marriage,
but Henry claimed the dispensation was not valid and in 1527 asked Pope Clement
VII to revoke it.

Normally the pope might have acquiesced to Henry?s wishes, for other
popes had granted similar favors to monarchs and Henry had been loyal to the
Church. In answer to Luther he had written a Defense of the Seven Sacraments
(1521), in which he castigated Luther as a ?poisonous serpent,? the ?wolf of
hell,? and the ?limb of Satan.? The pope gratefully bestowed on Henry the title
?Defender of the Faith? ?a title which English monarchs still possess. But much
as he might have wished, the pope could not support Henry in his desires. The
emperor Charles V, who was also king of Spain and the most powerful monarch in Europe, was a nephew of Catherine and threatened the pope if he declared
the marriage null and void. Clement decided to wait before giving his answer,
hoping that in the meantime events would resolve themselves.

But Henry would not wait. He obtained from Parliament the power to
appoint bishops in England
without papal permission, designating Thomas Cranmer as archbishop of
Canterbury. In 1533 Cranmer
pronounced the king?s marriage to Catherine invalid and legalized Henry?s
marriage to coquettish Anne Boleyn, whom he had secretly married three moths
earlier. At last goaded into action, Clement VII excommunicated Henry and
maintained that Catherine alone was the king?s true wife.

Establishment of the Anglican Church

In1534 Henry severed all connections with Rome. A compliant Parliament passed the
famous Act of Supremacy, which stated that the king ?just and rightfully is and
ought to be supreme head of the Treason Act, which declared liable to the death
penalty anyone who called the king a ?heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel, or
usurper.? Turning on his old friend, Henry had Sir Thomas More (see next
beheaded because he would not acknowledge the sovereign as head of the

To replenish the royal coffers and to gain popular support, Henry,
working through Parliament, dissolved the monasteries and sold their lands to
the nobles and gentry. Thus Henry acquired accomplices, in a sense, in his
conflict with Rome.
But Henry and Parliament could not have effected such sweeping changes if many
Englishmen had not been anticlerical.

In the same year (1539) in which Parliament acted to dissolve the
monasteries, it also passed the Six Articles, which reaffirmed the main
points of Catholic theology. By this act, both the Catholic who denied the
supremacy of the king and the Protestant who denied the validity of
transubstantiation were to be punished severely. Thus England threw off the supremacy of the pope without at that time
adopting the Protestant faith; the elements of Protestantism in the
English Church crept in after the break with Rome.

Anglican Church and Protestantism:

After Henry?s death in 1547, his frail ten-year-old son mounted the
throne as Edward VI. During his reign the growing Protestant party in
became ascendant. The Six Articles were repealed; priest were no longer held to
their vows of celibacy; and the old Latin service was replaced by Cranmer?s Book
of Common Prayer, written in English, which brought the service much closer to
the people and exerted a powerful influence on the development of the language.
In 1553 the Forty-Two Articles defined the faith of the Church of England along
Protestant lines.

Under the devoutly Catholic Mary (1533-1558), the unfortunate daughter
of the still less fortunate Catherine of Aragon, Catholicism was reinstated, and
three hundred Protestants, including Archbishop Cranmer, were burned at the
stake. But with the accession to the throne of Anne Boleyn?s red-headed and
fiery-tempered daughter, Elizabeth I (1558-1603), the Anglican Church took on a
strong Protestant charter. Realizing the political necessity for religious
peace, Elizabeth
worked hard to achieve a compromise settlement. Although the Church of England
remained a state under the control of the monarch,
Elizabeth astutely changed her title from ?Supreme Head.? To
the more modest ?Supreme Governor? in accepting the Bible as the final
authority, and in recognizing only Baptism and Holy Eucharist as
Christ-instituted sacraments, Elizabeth?s Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) were
essentially Protestant, although many articles were ambiguously phrased in an
effort to satisfy both parties. Much Catholic ritual was preserved, along with
the ecclesiastical government of bishops in apostolic succession.

Other Protestant Groups

Presbyterianism in Scotland

The religious revolt in Scotland
was largely the work of the zealous reformer John Knox (1505?-1572), who had
become a disciple of Calvin in Geneva.
After returning to his native Scotland in about 1559, Know became the leader of
a group of Protestant nobles who wished to overthrow both the jurisdiction of
the Roman Catholic Church and the monarch-Queen Mary Stuart, whose husband was
king of France. In 1560 the Scottish Parliament severed all ties with Rome and accepted Knox?s Articles of the
Presbyterian Church, modeled after Calvin?s views on theology and church
government. When the beautiful but ill-fated queen returned from France
one year later she found her bleak kingdom alienated from her own Catholic
views. Her seemingly scandalous behavior and her steadfast Catholicism led the
Scots to depose her in 1567
in favor for her Protestant son James.


The picture of religious developments in sixteenth-century
Europe would not be complete without an account of the multitude of
other Protestant sects which sprang up during this period.

Many of these sects opposed infant baptism on the grounds that an
infant could not possibly understand the significance of this sacrament.
Historians often lump them together under the term Anabaptists, meaning
?those baptized again,? since individuals were sometimes rebaptized as adults
when they joined any of these groups. Although there were important differences
among the various sects, the Anabaptists, broadly speaking, believed firmly in
their own interpretation of Biblical authority and rejected the necessity for a
body of clergymen, maintaining that a person should follow the guidance of his
?inner light.? Because they questioned many doctrines fundamental to other forms
of Protestantism and to Catholicism, the Anabaptists suffered religious
persecution and social ostracism.

The Anabaptists

Often referred to as the ?left wing? of Protestantism, displayed the
most radical social tendencies of the time. Many of the peasants whose hopes for
economic and social reform had been crushed by the Peasants? War turned from
Lither to the Anabaptists. In communities if their own, they shared their
worldly goods with one another and lived as they thought the primitive
Christians had lived, working and praying together. The Anabaptists believed in
the separation of church and state, condemned military service and the taking to

The Stewart dynasty

During this period tree important events took place:

The great civil war

The establishment of the English republic
and the restoration.

The glorious revolution

The civil war:

1- Causes of the civil war:

The main reason that contributes of the reaction of civil war was the conflict that
took place between Stewart monarch and parliament. Stewarts used parliament in
order to achieve their policy, there was a good relationship.

The conflict started with James I in 1566-1675. He became king of England
because he had a clause relationship with Elizabeth I. He was already king of Scotland.

The Scottish monarchs believed that they were the servant of god, and suggest that no
one could judge them, nor discuss their policies. This was the main source of
the conflict.

Parliament wanted to interfere in the king?s policy, they wanted to extend this
power. However, this decays to extend the power over. The king did not accept.
He needed money so he covert parliament to get money he needed in return.
Parliament asked James to discus about his policy. However the king refused.

English republic and the restoration:

Charles IV the son of James I accepted in the first, then he refused the conditions
of the parliament. So what did the king Charles IV do?

Parliament had more powerful army than of the king. He convict parliament at several
stages and derives these conditions, the parliament rebel against the king, and
this led to the civil war. During the reign of James I, England invaded Ireland. And those who invaded Ireland
were Protestants. Charles was attracted by Catholicism, so Catholicism was
brought back in England.

In the battle the king Charles was defeated, he went to Scotland
but he was executed. He was the only English monarchs that was executed till
now, and put an end to the monarchy in England.

There was a conflict between the army and its parliament. England
became republic under the role of parliament. Just after the execution of
Charles I, people started regretted its execution, because the policy of the
parliament was harsher then the policy of the king.

Oliver Cromwell was the leader of the army and then he became the lord protector of
England. After his death, his son Richard
Cromwell succeeded him, but he couldn't manage the republic as his father did.

So the monarchy was brought back to England by the son of Charles (restoration).

The son of Charles I became the next king of England under the name of King Charles II who did
not make the same mistake that his father did with parliament.

The reign of James II (brother of Charles II):

During the reign of James II, parliament hoped James II would encourage Protestantism in
England. He did not try to abolish Catholicism.

Parliament was against the brought back of Catholicism. This enervated the parliament and
led to the Glorious revolution.

The Glorious revolution:

Parliament asked the king of Holland, the king William of
Orange, the husband of Marry, the daughter of James II to invade
England, and promised the thrown to his wife

William of Orange was in need of money and soldiers. So he invaded England, yet, James II
escaped and Marry was with her husband against her father.

Marry became the new English monarch, and William wanted to became the new king of
England. And this event was known as The
Glorious revolution.

This event was the most important and political because it was parliament which chooses
the new king of England and it retrace the advance of democracy. And
to put it down, parliament decided to draft a document called The Bill of Rights

The content of The Bill of Rights:

The king was unable to raised taxes or keeps an army without the agreement of parliament
or to act against any MP (Member of Parliament) for what he did or said in
parliament. This contributed to have a powerful parliament than a monarch.

The English Revolution

The forces threatening established authority were dealt with ineffectively by the first
two Stuart kings-James I (1603-1625) and Charles I (1625-1649). Both believed?
AS DID THEIR Continental counterparts, in royal absolutism. Essentially, these
Stuart kings tried to do in England what Louis XIII and later Louis XIV were to
do in France: to establish court and crown as the sole governing bodies within
the state. What the Stuarts lacked, however, was an adequate social and
institutional base for absolutism, not least of all a standing army. They did
not possess the vast independent wealth of their French counterparts.

These kings preached, through the established church, the doctrine of the divine right
of kings. James I, an effective and shrewd administrator, conducted foreign
policy without consulting Parliament. Both kings tried to revitalize the old
aristocracy and to create news peers to re-establish the Feudal base of
monarchical authority. After 1629, Charles brought his hand-picked advisers into
government in the hope that they would purge the
of Puritans and the nation
of his opponents. Charles also disbanded Parliament and attempted to collect
taxes without its consent. These policies ended in disaster.

The English revolution broke out in 1640 because Charles I needed new taxes to defend
the realm against a Scottish invasion. Parliament, finally called after an
eleven-year absence, refused his request unless he granted certain basic rights:
Parliament to be consulted in matters of taxation, trial by jury, habeas
, and truly Protestant church responsive to the beliefs and interests
of its of its laity. Charles refused, for he saw these demands as an assault on
royal authority. The ensuing civil war was directed by Parliament, financed by
taxes and the merchants, and fought by the

New Model Army led by Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), a Puritan squire who
gradually realized his potential for leadership.

The New Model Army was unmatched by any ever seen before in Europe.
Parliament's rich supporters financed it, gentleman farmers led it, and
religious zealots filled its ranks, along with the usual cross-section of poor
artisans and day laborers. This army brought defeat to the king, his
aristocratic followers, and the Anglican Church's hierarchy.

In January 1649, Charles I was publicly executed by order of Parliament. During the
interregnum (time between kings) of the next eleven years, one parliament after
another joined with the army to govern the country as a republic. In the
distribution of power between the army and the Parliament, Cromwell proved to be
a key element. He had the support of the army's officers and some of its rank
and file, and he had been a member of Parliament for many years. His control
over the army was secured, however, only after its rank and file was purged of
radical groups. Some of these radicals wanted to level society, that is, to
redistribute property by ending monopolies and to give the vote to all male
citizens. In the context of the 1650s; Cromwell was a moderate republican who
also believed in limited religious toleration, yet history has painted him,
somewhat unjustly, as a military dictator.

The English Revolution was begun by urban merchants as well as landed gentry, who were
imbued with the strict Protestantism of the Continental Reformation. In the
1650s, however, the success of their revolution was jeopardized by growing
discontent from the poor, who made up the rank and file of the army and who
demanded that their economic and social grievances be rectified inefficiently,
and this increased popular discontent. The radicals of the English
Revolution-men like Gerrard Winstanley, the first theoretician of social
democracy in modern times, and John Lilburne, the Leveller-demanded
redistribution of property, voting rights for the majority of the male
population, and abolition of religious and intellectual elites whose power and
ideology supported the interest of the ruling classes. The radicals rejected
Anglicanism, moderate Puritanism, and even, in a few cases, the lifestyle of the
middle class; they opted instead for libertine and communistic beliefs and
practices. The radicals terrified even devoted Puritans like Cromwell. By 1660,
the country was adrift, without effective leadership.

Parliament, having secured the economic interests of its constituency (gentry,
merchants, and some small landowners), chose to restore court and crown, and
invited the exiled son of the executed king to return to the kingship. Having
learned the lesson his father had spurned, Charles II (1660-1685) never
instituted royal absolutism, although he did try to minimize Parliament's role
in the government. His court was a far more open institution than his father's
had been, for Charles II feared a similar death.

But Charles's brother James II (1685-1688) was a foolishly fearless Catholic and
admired of French absolutism. James gathered at his court a coterie of Catholic
advisers and supporters of the royal prerogative and attempted to bend
parliament and local government to the royal will. James's Catholicism was the
crucial element in his failure. The Anglican Church would not back him, and
political forces similar to those that had gathered against his father, Charles
I, in 1640 descended on him. The ruling elites, however, had learned their
lesson back in the 1650s: civil war would produce social discontent among the
masses. The upper classes wanted to avoid open warfare and preserve the monarchy
as a constitutional authority, but not as an absolute one. Puritanism, with its
sectarian fervor and its dangerous association with republicanism, was allowed
to play no part in this second and last phase of the English Revolution.

In early 1688, Anglicans, some aristocrats, and opponents of royal prerogative (Whigs
and a few Tories) formed a conspiracy against James II. Their purpose was to
invite his son-in-law, William of Orange, stab holder (head) of the
and husband of James's Protestant daughter Mary, to invade England and rescue its government from James's control. It was hoped
that the final outcome of this invasion would be determined by William and his
conspirators, I conjunction with a freely elected Parliament. This dangerous
plan succeeded for three main reasons:

William and
the Dutch desperately needed English support against the threat of a French

James had
lost the loyalty of key men in the army, powerful gentlemen in the countries,
and the Anglican Church.

political elite was committed and united in its intentions.

James II fled the country, and William and Mary were declared king and queen by act of
This bloodless revolution -sometimes called the Glorious Revolution- created a new
political and constitutional reality. Parliament secured its rights to assemble
regularly and to vote on all matters of taxation; the rights of habeas corpus
and trial by jury (for men of property and social status) were also secured.
These rights were in turn legitimated in a constitutionally binding document,
the Bill of Rights (1689). All Protestants, regardless of their sectarian bias,
were granted toleration. The Revolution Settlement of 1688-89 resolved the
profound constitutional and social tensions of the seventeenth century and laid
the foundations of English government.

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Re: British Civilisation (3rd Year Old System)

Post by dah_men on Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:24 am

18th-Century British

the union with Scotland, the British government functioned according to an
unwritten constitution put in place after the Revolution of 1688. This
agreement between the monarchs and Parliament provided for the succession of
Anne?s German Protestant cousin, George of Hanover, and his heirs. It excluded
from the throne the Catholic descendants of James II who now lived in France
and who periodically attempted to regain the throne. Their supporters were
known as Jacobites, and they rose in an unsuccessful rebellion in 1715. The
Church of England remained the official religious establishment, but most
Protestants who belonged to other churches enjoyed toleration.

The revolution
also resolved the struggle for power between the monarch and Parliament, which
had been an ongoing issue under the Stuarts. Parliament emerged as the leading
force in government. The Hanoverians ruled as constitutional monarchs, limited
by the laws of the land. During the 18th century, British monarchs ruled
indirectly through appointed ministers who gathered and managed supporters in
Parliament. Landowners eligible to vote elected a new House of Commons every
seven years, although membership into the upper house of Parliament, the House
of Lords, remained limited to hereditary and appointed lords and high church
clergy. Parliament passed laws, controlled foreign policy, and approved the
taxes that allowed the monarch to pay the salaries of officials, the military,
and the royal family.

Hanoverian monarchs associated the Whig Party with the revolution that brought
them to power and suspected the Tory Party of Jacobitism. As a result, the
Whigs dominated the governments of George I (1714-1727) and his son, George II
(1727-1760). Neither king was a forceful monarch. George I spoke no English and
was more interested in German politics that he was in British politics. George
II was preoccupied with family problems, particularly by an ongoing personal
feud with his son. Although they both were concerned with European military
affairs (George II was the last British monarch to appear on a battlefield),
they left British government in the hands of their ministers, the most
important of whom was Sir Robert Walpole.

Walpole led British government for almost
20 years. He spent most of his life in government, first as a member of
Parliament, then in increasingly important offices, and finally as prime
minister. Walpole had skillful
political influence over a wide range of domestic and foreign policy matters.
He was chiefly interested in domestic affairs and was able to improve royal
finances and the national economy. He reduced the national debt and lowered the
land tax, which had slowed investment in agriculture. He secured passage of a
Molasses Act in 1733 to force British colonists to buy molasses from British
planters and ensure British control of the lucrative sugar trade. Walpole kept Britain
out of war during most of his administration. A growing sentiment in Parliament
for British involvement in European conflicts forced Walpole
to resign in 1742.

Walpole so firmly established the Whigs
that the two-party system all but disappeared from British politics for half a
century. He created a patronage system, which he used to reward his supporters
with positions in an expanding and increasingly wealthy government. Opposition
to patronage eventually grew within the Whig Party among those who believed
that ministers had acquired too much power and that politics had grown corrupt.

1745 a
Jacobite rebellion posed a serious threat to Whig rule. Led by Charles Edward
Stuart, the grandson of James II, the rebellion broke out in Scotland. The
rebels captured Edinburgh and successfully invaded the north of England. The
rebellion crumbled after William Augustus, who was the duke of Cumberland and a
son of George II, defeated the Jacobites at Culloden Moor in Scotland in 1746.

British Colonial Expansion

Revolution and War

In 1783 the king turned power over
to William Pitt the Younger, who was only 24 when he became prime minister.
Pitt, the son of a former prime minister, immediately set about repairing the
damage that had been done to the colonial empire by the recent losses. The
India Act of 1784 removed the administration of India
from the English East India Company and placed it directly under the control of
the British government. Pitt?s greatest concern was to reduce the huge debt
acquired from nearly a half century of warfare. He encouraged the resumption of
trade with the United States.
Pitt also created a fund to pay government creditors and to accumulate the
money necessary to repay long-term loans. This strategy might have resulted in
financial stability had it not been for developments in France.

French Revolution

In 1789 the French Revolution
erupted. French citizens rose against their monarch, Louis XVI, eliminated the
ancient legal distinctions based on social class, and established a republican
government. The French revolutionaries invited all of the peoples of Europe to follow their example. Conservative
monarchs throughout Europe
were hostile toward the revolution. Within a few years wars broke out between
France and a number of European powers.

In Britain,
there were early supporters of the cause of revolution. Anglo-American
political philosopher Thomas Paine, who had been instrumental in the American
Revolution, took up the French cause with vigor. Most British politicians
adopted a more conservative philosophy because they were frightened by the introduction
of radical social and political changes in France.
First, the British government suspended civil rights in 1792 and began actively
prosecuting individuals for sedition (inciting revolution). Individuals who
advocated even minor government reform were imprisoned. Then, in 1795,
Parliament approved a law allowing the government to imprison without trial
anyone who criticized its policies. The last years of the century were dark
days for the government as food prices rose, the Bank of England suspended the
gold payments that guaranteed its debts, and fear of a French invasion mounted.

In 1793 France declared war on Britain, and the final
phase of nearly 500 years of warfare between France and Britain
began. It was a titanic struggle. Initially, Britain stayed out of the
land war in Europe
and chose instead to focus on defending its colonial possessions and
maintaining control of the seas. In 1798 British admiral Horatio Nelson
defeated the French navy in Egypt (see Battle of the Nile), securing India?s
safety throughout the war. The Royal Navy captured nearly all of the important
French colonies in the West Indies and Africa.
In 1805 Nelson achieved one of the greatest of all naval victories at the
Battle of Trafalgar when he defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet.

Napoleonic Wars

Britain could not stay out of the European
conflict indefinitely. The rise of French emperor Napoleon and his powerful
armies threatened the international balance of power. The Napoleonic Wars were
fought between France
and a variety of European nations from 1799 to 1815.

Napoleon?s policy of blockading
trade between Britain
and the European continent hurt British trade. In response Britain
instituted a blockade of goods going into or out of European ports controlled
by Napoleon. The British policy of stopping and searching ships suspected of
traveling to French-held areas of Europe led to the War of 1812 (1812-1815)
between Britain
and the United States.
The war began when the United States insisted that
had no right to stop, search, or seize ships belonging to neutral countries.

After Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 and suffered
a disastrous defeat, Britain
mobilized its forces for a land war and joined a coalition with Russia, Austria, and Prussia.
The center of fighting shifted to Spain, where a British
force under the duke of Wellington
successfully fought its way across the country and invaded France
in 1813. Two years later Wellington
led the coalition of forces that decisively defeated Napoleon at the Battle of
Waterloo and ended the French revolutionary wars.

The Congress of Vienna, which ended
the Napoleonic Wars, was a great diplomatic victory for Britain.
was left intact but its continental neighbors achieved security of their
borders. The treaty created a balance of power among the nations of Europe that led to 40 years of peace on the
continent. With peace established in Europe, Britain
was free to spend its energy and resources on expanding its overseas empire.

The 18th-Century Economy

More than anything else, the
economic development of Britain
in the 18th century made possible its military successes and the expansion of
its empire. The creation of financial institutions?such as the Bank of England
and the Bank of Scotland?at the end of the 17th century and beginning of the
18th century helped increase the circulation of money and the speed with which
business transactions could take place.

The establishment of a permanent
national debt, funded by the sale of bonds that investors redeemed at a later
date at an increased value, allowed the British government to amass the vast
sums necessary to mount military expeditions of unprecedented size and cost. At
the end of the century Britain
had more than half a million men in the military, and the task of supplying and
paying them was gargantuan. The War of the Spanish Succession, which ended in
1714, had cost less than £100 million; the Napoleonic Wars, which ended a
century later, cost £1.5 billion. The national debt rose accordingly. Despite
these enormous outlays for war, and the accumulation of debt, Britain
was a richer society at the end of the century than at the beginning. Roughly,
income per capita more than doubled despite rapid population growth.

Following the union with Scotland
in 1707, the British population stood at about 6.5 million; a century later it
had reached 15.75 million. More importantly, most of that growth had taken
place after 1750 in
one of the greatest population explosions in British history. Before the 19th
century, most people still lived in the countryside and engaged in agricultural

Agricultural production changed
gradually over the course of the century, but these changes had a profound
impact on British society. In the regions where soil was rich, landowners
converted small family farms into large commercial enterprises. Acts of
Parliament allowed them to enclose land and create vast estates where single
crops intended for the marketplace could be grown. New techniques brought
increased productivity. Scientists developed new strains of grasses to restore
the fertility of the soil, bred more productive livestock, and pioneered the
use of new fertilizers. Agriculture became a business rather than a means of
subsistence, and the owners of small plots of land gradually became
agricultural laborers rather than independent farmers.

Although most people lived in the
country, the 18th century was notable for the growth of towns. Ports such as Bristol and Liverpool grew from the prosperity of
overseas trading. Seaside
resorts catered to the middle and upper classes, and the resort town of Bath
became a vacation center. In the Midlands of west central England,
towns turned to cities as agricultural workers from the south and east began to
migrate north toward the new industrial jobs. Birmingham, Sheffield, and above all Manchester
grew rapidly.

But nothing matched the colossus
that was London. Already the
largest city in the Western world at the beginning of the century, London
continued to expand, reaching a population of 1 million by 1800. It was almost
completely rebuilt after a great fire destroyed much of the city in 1666.
Eighteenth-century improvements included sewers, water mains, streetlights, and
even the numbering of houses. One out of every eleven Britons lived in the
capital. London
was the center of every important institution in the nation except for the
universities, which were located in Cambridge
and Oxford.

Increased wealth and a rapidly
growing population were sustained by the profits of commerce. At the beginning
of the century, Britain
still competed on an equal footing with the Dutch, the Spanish, and the French.
By the century?s end Britain
was the dominant commercial power in the world marketplace. Traders bought
brightly colored cotton cloth in Asia; they exchanged the cloth in Africa for
slaves, who were brought either to the southern colonies in America or to the West Indies. In the West Indies slaves were
exchanged for sugar, the most desirable of the products of the Americas.

The importation of goods from
British colonies and the exportation of these goods all over the world became
the key to British prosperity. Roads were built connecting London
to every other center of population, and canals were excavated to connect
inland waterways so that goods could move farther faster. Commerce drove the
expansion of the shipbuilding industry, provided tens of thousands of jobs for
laborers on the London docks, and
spawned wholesale and retail trade everywhere. Commerce was so important to the
British economy that Scottish economist Adam Smith described Britain
as ?a nation of shopkeepers.?

Industrialization and

Early Stages of

The development of industry in Britain
was a long and gradual process. Industrialization took place earlier and more
rapidly in Britain
than anywhere else because existing conditions were favorable in England.
A system of internal waterways and canals and the absence of physical barriers
to trade made the transport of goods less difficult than in other nations.
Coalfields and thick forests, located conveniently close to large deposits of
metal ores, provided fuel to power the furnaces that produced iron. Thriving
commercial banks provided financing for investments in industrial plants and

Advances in agriculture also
contributed to the industrialization process. Beginning in the mid-17th
century, England
underwent a process of agricultural improvement that enabled fewer farmers to
feed more people while cultivating the same amount of land. Between 1750 and
1800, grain yields rose 50 percent; this increase sustained the steadily rising
population, which in England
grew from 5.5 million in 1750 to around 9 million in 1801, to over 16 million
by 1851. Agricultural improvement not only produced more food at cheaper
prices, it also allowed farms to produce more food with fewer workers. Workers
who could no longer find work on farms migrated to the towns in search of
employment. As a result, there was a dramatic shift in population during the
19th century from the agricultural southeast to the Midlands and the north, where industry was

The first phase of industrialization
centered on the production of cotton clothing. At the beginning of the 18th
century Britain
still imported finished cotton cloth from India.
Soon domestic manufacturing reversed this flow, and England
became the world?s primary supplier of cotton cloth. Two developments made this
possible: the availability of cheap raw cotton from Egypt and America,
and the invention of new machines that enabled workers to spin more thread and
weave more cloth.

One of these new machines was known
as the spinning jenny. It used foot pedals to control the spinning of multiple
threads. This device allowed a worker to spin 200 times as much thread in 1815
as could be spun 50 years earlier. Another mechanical device, the flying
shuttle, quickly and automatically passed thread through a loom, the device on
which cloth is woven. This flying shuttle enabled one person to operate a loom,
whereas previously it had taken an entire team of workers.

The operation of machinery became
more efficient and profitable with the addition of waterpower and later the
perfection of the rotary steam engine by Scottish inventor James Watt. Cotton
production soared. By 1815 Britain
was exporting 100 times the amount of cotton it had exported half a century
earlier. Cotton became its most important product.

With the introduction of machinery,
factories became the site of organized production of textiles, replacing small-scale
manufacture in the home. At first most factories were comparatively small,
employing fewer than 100 workers. They were efficient and initially allowed
families to remain together, husbands weaving, wives spinning, and children
fetching and carrying. Ultimately, however, factories disrupted family life.
Women and children easily operated the power-driven machines, and they worked
the same 12-hour days as men. Since factory owners could pay women and children
lower wages, men were driven out of the industry. The craft of handloom weaving
disappeared amidst great hardship. An occupation that employed about 250,000
men in 1820 sustained fewer than 50,000 by 1850.

In some communities, displaced
workers attacked factories and factory owners. In others, rioters known as
Luddites attacked the machines themselves. Luddites attempted to defend their
communities and their way of life, but they were unable to stop the development
of new factories. Factory owners grew rich by producing cheap, durable cottons
with the new machines.

Iron and Railroads

Iron was the miracle product of
industrialization. Engineers used it to build the machines that powered
production and ultimately the rails and engines that powered distribution. Iron
had long been refined in England
in furnaces that used charcoal as fuel. This process, known as smelting,
involved heating iron ore to high temperatures to remove most of the
impurities. However, charcoal left some impurities in the iron, which made it
difficult to cast the iron into bars. Abraham Darby, an English iron
manufacturer, discovered that smelting with coke, a purified form of coal, made
possible the production of a better product. Newly developed techniques allowed
the iron to be heated and stirred in great vats until impurities had burned
off. Factory workers then fed the cooling iron through rolling machines that
formed it into bars. By 1850 English manufacturers were producing more than
half of the world?s iron.

The most important use of this
enormous output of iron was in building railroads. The railroads developed as a
result of the technological advances made during the Industrial Revolution. The
iron factories produced high-grade material suitable for constructing train
engines and tracks. Skilled ironworkers provided machine parts of exact sizes.
Inventors put Watt?s steam engine to use, first to pump water from mines, then
to drive pistons up and down, and finally to generate the rotary motion that
propelled the wheels of trains.

Systems of rails and carriages had
long existed to move coal from the mines to the barges on which it was shipped.
Humans or horses pulled these carriages. After 1800 inventors began
experimenting with Watt?s steam engine as a means of powering carriages. In
1829 engineer and inventor George Stephenson created an engine that could pull
three times its weight and outrun a horse. The following year the first
important railway opened, carrying coal and bulk goods between Manchester and Liverpool. It soon carried more people than
products. Passenger travel by rail was faster, cheaper, and more comfortable
than travel by coach. The introduction of the railroad changed forever concepts
of speed and distance that were centuries old. Hundreds of independent railway
companies sprang up. They invested millions of pounds to employ hundreds of
thousands of laborers to lay thousands of miles of iron track. All railroad
lines ultimately connected to London,
the commercial center of the nation.

The Impact of Industrialization

Industrialization transformed nearly
every aspect of British life. Glasgow
came to rival Edinburgh
as a center of wealth in Scotland.
which had grown faster than Scotland
throughout the 18th century, failed to industrialize and remained largely
agricultural, with dire consequences. Famine devastated Ireland
in 1845 after a fungus destroyed the potato crop, which had become a staple of
the Irish diet.

In 1851, for the first time,
manufacturing employed more workers than agriculture. The growth of industrial
cities was staggering. While the population as a whole grew by 100 percent
between 1801 and 1851, the population of towns such as Liverpool and Manchester
grew by 1,000 percent. Town authorities found it impossible to regulate the
explosion in the population. Landlords constructed ramshackle housing simply to
provide shelter. In Liverpool
thousands of people lived in basements without light or heat. Sanitary
conditions were appalling; in one Manchester
district there were 215 people for every toilet. London,
which had about 1 million inhabitants by 1801, grew to more than 2.3 million by
1850, many of them living in poverty. More remarkably, 9 towns had populations
of more than 100,000, and more than 50 had populations of more than 20,000.
Urbanization, with its costs and benefits, came to Britain
all at once.

At one level, industrialization
consolidated Britain?s
position as the greatest power in the world. By 1830 Britain produced half of Europe?s iron and cotton, three-quarters of
its coal, and nearly all of its steam engines. The English supplied the
technological expertise for engineering in other countries, and they planned
the railway systems for nearly all of Europe.
In 1851 the Great Exposition, a public exhibition that highlighted Britain?s industrial
achievements, took place in London.
Architects and iron manufacturers constructed the Crystal Palace of iron and glass to showcase Britain?s

Britain?s vast overseas empire was now as
much a consumer of British manufactured goods as it was a supplier of Britain?s
raw materials. Steam-powered ships made the world a smaller place in the same
way that railroads had shrunk the British
Isles. Bulk cargoes were now easily moved around the
globe, and wealth poured into London
and the commercial ports in western Britain.
By rough estimates, the per capita wealth of England
tripled from 1801 to 1851, a
remarkable growth considering that the population doubled.

This increase in wealth, however,
did not benefit everyone. If the standard of living rose for some, the quality
of life declined for others. Agricultural labor was performed to seasonal
rhythms by the light of the sun, but the clock governed factory production, 12
hours a day, 6 days a week. Factory work was dangerous, dirty, and unhealthful,
but those who could get it were considered lucky compared to those who begged
or starved in the streets.

In the first phase of
industrialization, workers were unprotected by social legislation?even efforts
to eliminate child labor met serious opposition. Few safety regulations
existed. There was no relief for those who could not afford food until, in 1795, a
group of local justices in Berkshire
inaugurated what was known as the Speenhamland System, after the British parish
in which it was pioneered. This system offered wage supplements pegged to the
price of bread and the size of a worker?s family. Local governments in other
regions instituted similar programs. This did little to help the unemployed,
however, and had the unintended effect of lowering wages. Employers discovered
that, with relief available to workers, they could offer less in wages. In
years of poor harvests, low investment, or economic slump, there was great
misery among the poor.

Workers attempted to organize to
force better conditions, but without protection against dismissal, their
efforts were sporadic Because the Tories continued to fear the radicalism that
had developed in the wake of the French Revolution, protest movements met a
forceful response. In 1819 Parliament passed the Six Acts in response to
rioting. These acts curtailed civil liberties by limiting the freedom of the
press, restricting public meetings, and increasing penalties for those who
advocated action that might cause public disturbances. Other laws prohibited
political rallies and the formation of labor organizations.

protect the interests of landlords, Parliament passed the Corn Laws of 1815,
which placed taxes on imported grain. The repeal of the income tax in 1817
benefited merchants and manufacturers. At the same time, however, Parliament
shifted the major burden of taxes onto commercial and industrial businesses,
whose owners were largely unrepresented in Parliament. The poor resented new
taxes passed on consumption goods such as tea, beer, tobacco, and sugar, which
were the few luxury items in their lives.

was increasing sentiment for radical reform among leading intellectuals. The
ideas of British philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who in his philosophy of
utilitarianism preached that the aim of government should be the greatest
happiness for the greatest number, were particularly influential. Romanticism
in poetry?led by William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lord
Byron?stressed natural freedom over the constrictions of the traditional world.
There were only two real areas of progress in these years, however. The first
was the abolition of slavery in the British colonies in 1833. The second was in
matters of religion. In 1828, under increasing pressure from dissenters
(Protestants who were not members of the Church of England), Parliament
repealed the Test Acts. These acts had barred dissenters from working in
government jobs and the professions, and from attending universities. In the
following year, after a long struggle in Ireland, Parliament removed the legal
restrictions that had prevented Catholics from holding public office in the
United Kingdom. The issue of Catholic emancipation was so divisive that it
split the Tory Party.

the Tory Party divided, the Whig government of Charles Grey, 2nd earl Grey,
took office in 1830. Grey?s govWith the Tory Party divided, the WhiWith the
Tory Party divided, the Whig government of Charles Grey, 2nd earl Grey, took
office in 1830. Grey?s govWith the Tory Party divided, the Whig government of
Charles Grey, 2nd earl Grey, took office in 1830. Grey?s government finally
instituted parliamentary reforms that restructured the outdated electoral
system. Prior to Grey?s reforms, only voters who owned sizable areas of land in
a patchwork of districts created during medieval times could elect members to
the House of Commons. This system denied the vote to merchants, manufacturers,
and skilled laborers who did not own land. Regions that had been prosperous
hundreds of years earlier were overrepresented in Parliament while many new
urban centers had no representation at all. Some parliamentary seats were
virtually owned by individuals. One town represented in Parliament had
disappeared under the sea.

Agitation for Political

Reform Bill of 1832 was the first successful attempt to correct these
inequities. Although the bill was a moderate compromise, it was defeated twice
in the House of Lords; only when King William IV threatened to create a number
of new Whig peers in the House of Lords was it allowed to pass. The act
decreased the amount of land one had to own to qualify to vote, especially in
towns. It redistributed nearly one-quarter of the seats in the House of
Commons, mainly from the agricultural southwest to the industrial northwest,
but this was still far too few seats to reflect the redistribution of
population. More than 250,000 adult males were added to the electoral rolls,
but still only 20 percent now had the vote in England; the figure was 12 percent
in Scotland, and 5 percent in Ireland.

The Reform Act of 1832 was a bitter
disappointment to many radicals who had hoped for fundamental change. Social
discontent in o had hoped for fundamental change. Social discontent in Britain
came to mirror the country’s emerging class structure. The wealthy, who had
been divided between landowners and capitalists, gradually merged into a single
ruling class that dominated the government, the church, and the military. Birth
and family connections combined to define its members, who attended elite
public schools and universities. The middle classes, which had expanded greatly
in the 18th century, now participated in the political process as a result of
the Reform Act. Their values of tight-knit families, religious observance, and
moral personal conduct were to characterize the coming Victorian eraThe working
class became the outsider looking in. By far the biggest class, workers had few
rights and little security. The ruling and middle classes looked upon the
working class with suspicion and feared their numbers and their potential for
violence. However, they also provided the leaders who agitated for reforms in
working conditions, political rights, and economic justice that ultimately
improved the lives of British workers.

important political parties emerged during the 1830s. The Whig faction in
Parliament combined with a group of radicals to create the Liberal Party, which
devoted its energy to government reform, free trade, and the extension of
voting eligibility to a larger percentage of the population. The Conservative
Party evolved as the successor to the Tory Party. The Conservatives were
staunch supporters of the monarchy and championed the cause of imperialism.

the mid-19th century two significant reform groups presented their programs to
government: the Anti-Corn Law League and the Chartists. The Anti-Corn Law
League championed free trade and advocated the removal of high taxes on
imported grains. The Chartists hoped to expand political participation to members
of the working class.

for repeal of the Corn Laws came from middle-class radicals who believed in
free trade rather than protection. They argued that the Corn Laws only
benefited rich landowners whose profits came at the cost of expensive bread for
everyone else. The terrible potato famine in Ireland, which began in 1845 and
killed nearly 1 million people, finally convinced Prime Minister Robert Peel
& Chartism championed the cause of workers by demanding that they
receive full political rights. In imitation of the Magna Carta, which had
secured the rights of the nobility from the crown in 1215, the Chartists
produced a People’s Charter. The charter advocated the extension of the vote to
all adult males, the redistribution of parliamentary seats on the basis of
population, and the use of the secret ballot. The Chartists presented their
program to Parliament in 1839, 1842, and 1848. Each time Parliament decisively
rejected it.

nearly all of the Chartist demands were met. The male electorate was doubled by
the Reform Bill of 1867, which extended the vote to many men working in urban
areas, and then tripled by the Reform Bill of 1884, which extended the vote to
agricultural workingmen. Both bills furthered the redistribution of parliamentary
seats, and the bill of 1884 virtually conceded that further reform must be made
on the basis of population. The secret ballot was introduced in 1872. It was
not until 1918 that all men and women received the vote. trade rather than
protection. They argued that the Corn Laws only benefited rich landowners whose
profits came at the cost of expensive bread for everyone else. The terrible
potato famine in Ireland, which began in 1845 and killed nearly 1 million
people, finally convinced Prime Minister Robert Peel to repeal the laws in
1846. The repeal split the Conservative Party, but it made Britain the world?s
leading advocate of the principle of free trade.

championed the cause of workers by demanding that they receive full political
rights. In imitation of the Magna Carta, which had secured the rights of the
nobility from the crown in 1215, the Chartists produced a People?s Charter. The
charter advocated the extension of the vote to all adult males, the
redistribution of parliamentary seats on the basis of population, and the use
of the secret ballot. The Chartists presAs the social consequences of
industrialization became more apparent, so did the need for government
oversight of working and living conditions in the mushrooming industrial cities.
Many social reformers believed that government should restrict the influence of
powerful individuals. Others believed in the philosophy of self-help. Self Help
was also the title of a mid-century best-seller by social reformer Samuel
Smiles. In this 1859 work, Smiles presented short, inspirational biographies of
famous men and urged his readers to improve their own lives by following these

underlying belief of Victorian society was in progress?that things were better
than ever before and could be made better still. This belief was the impetus
for thousands of voluntary associations that worked to improve the lives of the
poor both at home and abroad. It also underlay the charitable foundations
created by wealthy benefactors and the public philanthropies of some of the
greatest industrialists. Social experiments were conducted by individuals such
as factory owner Robert Owen, who founded utopian communities in which wealth
was held in common. Novelists such as Charles Dickens were ardent social
reformers who brought the intolerable conditions of the workhouses and the
factories to the attention of the public in their books. Dickens?s novels
Oliver Twist (1837-1839) and Hard Times (1854) are examples of this kind of Twist (1837-1839) and Hard Times (1854) are examples ofChild

earliest and most persistent movement for social reform concerned child labor.
Children formed an important component of the industrial labor force because
employers could pay them lower wages. From a very young age they worked the
same hours as their parents in the same difficult conditions. Parliament first
limited the hours children could work in textile factories in 1833, following a
public outcry over a parliamentary inquiry into working conditions for
children. The law prevented children under nine years of age from working more
than nine hours per day. In 1842
a law extended this protection to children working in

of the hours that children worked fed naturally into the movement for child
education. In the 1860s less than one in seven British children had any formal
education, and literacy was declining. Elementary schools were operated by
private individuals or religious societies and were financed by charitable
donations, personal grants, or fees paid by students. The Education Act of 1870
mandated that local districts establish public schools supported by local
taxes. An act of 1881 finally made education compulsory for children aged five
to ten. in common. Novelists such as Charles Dickens were ardent social
reformers who brought the intolerable conditions of the workhouses and the
factories to the attention of the public in their books. Dickens?s novels
Oliver Twist (1837-1839) and Hard Times (1854) are examples of this kind of

Child Labor

In 1868 leaders of individual unions formed a Trades Union
Congress to coordinate action among the unions, even though the formation of
unions was illegal at the time. Up to that time, only highly skilled workers
such as engineers had formed successful unions and bargained collectively. In
1871 the government formally recognized the existence of unions and their right
to strike, although picketing remained illegal. In addition, the responsibility
of unions for the acts of their members continued to threaten their financial
existence. A strike by London dockworkers in 1889 secured an incontestable
victory for the labor movement. Despite the use of nonunion workers and threats
from the police and the government, dockworkers held firm until they won a
minimum wage. Following the strike, the labor unions became a force in British
politics. At the beginning of the 20th century, representatives from unions and
other labor organizations formed the Labour Party to secure the election of politicians
sympathetic to labor issues. During the 20th century Labour emerged as one of
the two major political parties in Britain.

3. Gladstone, Disraeli, and Victorian Politics

Victorian politics were characterized by
the contest between two great party leaders, William Gladstone of the Liberal
Party and Benjamin Disraeli of the Conservative Party. Gladstone
came from a Liverpool merchant family, went to school at Eton and Oxford?two of England?s most prestigious
schools?and moved effortlessly into government. Originally a Conservative, he
broke with the main body of the party when he supported the repeal of the Corn
Laws. In 1859 he joined the Liberal Party, ultimately becoming its leader.

Disraeli?s background
was quite different. His father was a Jewish intellectual who broke with his
synagogue following an argument and baptized his children into the Church of
England. The fact that Disraeli was a member of the Church of England made him
eligible to serve in Parliament. Disraeli did not receive an elite education
and supported himself first as a novelist. He, too, entered the Conservative
Party, but he supported the Corn Laws and remained in the Conservative
mainstream, twice serving as chancellor of the Exchequer, the minister in
charge of finances. Disraeli introduced the Reform Bill of 1867, which gained
the Conservatives the support of the urban middle classes when it extended the
vote to them. He briefly became prime minister in 1868 and again from 1874 to
1880. Disraeli identified the Conservatives with the monarchy, the church, the
landed interests, and the strengthening of the -underline: none">2. Gladstone, Disraeli,
and Victorian Politics

politics were characterized by the contest between two great party leaders,
William Gladstone of the Liberal Party and Benjamin Disraeli of the
Conservative Party. Gladstone came from a
Liverpool merchant family, went to school at Eton and Oxford?two
of England?s
most prestigious schools?and moved effortlessly into government. Originally a
Conservative, he broke with the main body of the party when he supported the
repeal of the Corn Laws. In 1859 he joined the Liberal Party, ultimately
becoming its leader.

Disraeli?s background was quite
different. His father was a Jewish intellectual who broke with his synagogue
following an argument and baptized his children into the Church of England. The
fact that Disraeli was a member of the Church of England made him eligible to
serve in Parliament. Disraeli did not receive an elite education and supported
himself first as a novelist. He, too, entered the Conservative Party, but he
supported the Corn Laws and remained in the Conservative mainstream, twice
serving as chancellor of the Exchequer, the minister in charge of finances.
Disraeli introduced the Reform Bill of 1867, which gained the Conservatives the
support of the urban middle classes when it extended the vote to them. He
briefly became prime minister in 1868 and again from 1874 to 1880. Disraeli
identified the Conservatives with the monarchy, the church, the landed
interests, and the strengthening of the British
Empire. Nevertheless, he supported important elements
of social reform legislation.

Gladstone outlasted his rival and served as
prime minister on four separate occasions (1868-1874, 1880-1885, 1886, and
1892-1894). He advocated free trade and was gradually con attempted further
reforms, especially to protect impoverished tenants. However, he had little
support even within his own party.

The first British
Empire was the creation of explorers and traders and was based on
an economic relationship between colonies and the mother country. The second British Empire was the creation of bureaucrats and
generals and was based on a political relationship known as imperialism.
Imperialism involved an effort to rule native peoples by importing British
institutions and values, intervening in local affairs, and maintaining a strong
military presence. The shift in goals and methods was gradual. The most
important colonies of the first empire had developed in sparsely populated
regions where native populations were brutally cast aside to establish British
colonies. The second empire involved the domination of colonial peoples.

In 1886 demned
the British government for failing to respond adequately to the crisis. They
also condemned absentee English landlords who evicted their impoverished
tenants when they could no longer afford to pay rent. Many of these landlords
lived in England
and had grown rich collecting rents. They rarely saw their Irish properties and
remained unaware of the problems affecting their tenants. Many Irish grew to
despise absentee landlords, especially after evictions left thousands of
starving tenants homeless.

Gladstone was sympathetic to many Irish
grievances. He passed acts that removed the Protestant Church of Ireland as the
nation?s official church and that protected tenants from being evicted by
landlords. In the 1880s Gladstone
attempted further reforms, especially to protect impoverished tenants. However,
he had little support even within his own party.

Irish leaders considered Gladstone?s actions inadequate and demanded
nothing less than the creation of a free Irish state. In 1867 Irish
nationalists formed a secret society, the Fenians, to overthrow British rule
and establish an independent Ireland.
Irish resistance, led by Irish nationalist politician The first British Empire was the creation of explorers and traders
and was based on an economic relationship between colonies and the mother
country. The second British Empire was the
creation of bureaucrats and generals and was based on a political relationship
known as imperialism. Imperialism involved an effort to rule native peoples by
importing British institutions and values, intervening in local affairs, and
maintaining a strong military presence. The shift in goals and methods was
gradual. The most important colonies of the first empire had developed in
sparsely populated regions where native populations were brutally cast aside to
establish British colonies. The second empire involved the domination of
colonial peoples.

British naval power enabled Britain to
control a far-flung empire, especially after the development of steam-powered
warships. Geographical emphasis shifted from the west to the east; the most
important dominions were located in the South Pacific, South Asia, and Africa. India
was the centerpiece of the British Empire.
British rule in India began
with the expulsion of the French from Bengal in 1757 and grew as the British
used military conquest to gain direct control over areas of India. Wars in Afghanistan and the Punjab
in the 1840s led to British annexation of the northern Muslim provinces. The
British created a unified India
out of hundreds of separate kingdoms and principalities. The conquest of the
eastern territory of Burma (now Myanmar) began in the 1820s and
ended following the second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852.

Successive governors-general attempted to
bring to the Indian subcontinent what they regarded as Britain’s
superior system of law and social relations. They governed through a vast civil
service transplanted mainly from Britain. Although the British made
significant inroads against the extremes of poverty and disease that existed in
they generally viewed Indian society as less cultured than their own and
treated the indigenous population with contempt. Inevitably a clash of cultures
took place. In 1857 there was a mutiny by sepoys (Indian troops in the British
military), who sought to protect their social and religious traditions. The
sepoys seized garrisons and killed British officers and civilians. British
relief forces repeated the process in reverse, and the Sepoy Rebellion left a
legacy of mutual hostility.

British expansion into Africa
was fueled by the race for colonies in which all of the European powers
participated during the decades that followed the 1880s. British traders had
long been present on the western coast of Africa,
where they dominated the Atlantic slave trade. With the abolition of slavery
after 1833, interest in Africa shifted to the east, where the British drove the
French from Egypt.
In 1882 the British gained control of the Suez Canal, a vital link between Britain’s
eastern and western empires.

British explorers such as David
Livingstone helped open the interior of Africa
to Europeans, while entrepreneurs such as Cecil Rhodes exploited its vast
mineral wealth. Rhodes acquired one of the
great fortunes of the second empire by gaining control of African diamonds and
gold. He dreamed of unifying the eastern side of the continent by establishing
a railroad from Cape Town in the south to Cairo in the north,
passing only through British controlled territory. Rhodes’s efforts helped
trigger the Boer War (1899-1902), in which British troops fought Dutch
colonists for possession of some of the richest gold and diamond mining areas
of southern Africa. The Scramble for Africa
created conflicts between the European powers, and Rhodes’s scheme faltered
because of the powerful German presence in eastern Africa.

Seeking to expand the opportunity for
trade along the Chinese coast, the British acquired the island
of Hong Kong in southern China following the first Opium War (1839-1842)
with China.
The war broke out when Chinese officials in the port
of Guangzhou seized the opium shipments
that merchants were illegally importing into China. The British responded by
sending a naval force and occupying Hong Kong
in 1841.

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