The Mid-Victorian Age Unravelling Britain: Lecture 3 The Mid-Victorian Age: Britain in the 1850s and 60s #unravellingbritain 3: Dr Robert Saunders
The Age of Equipoise? Charles Kingsley, Alton Locke (1850, repr. 1862) 1862 Preface The book was written at a time of hateful severance between the classes. Then arose Luddite mobs,
meal mobs, farm riots, riots everywhere; Captain Swing and his rickburners, Peterloo massacres, Bristol conflagrations, and all the ugly sights and rumours which made young lads believe (and not so wrongly) that the masses were their natural enemies, and that they might have to fight, any year, or any day, for the safety of their property and the
honour of their sisters. How changed, thank God! is all this now William Gladstone Gladstone in Lancashire, 1865 It has been our privilege to see a process going forward in which the throne has
acquired a broader and deeper foundation in the affections of the country; in which the laws have commended themselves more and more to the respect and attachment of the people; in which the various classes of the country have come into closer union with one another [so that a man], looking out over
the broad surface of society, may thank God and say, Behold! How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Election Violence The Hustings
The hustings at Hastings, 1865 Election Violence in England and Wales, 1857-1880 6 General Elections 63 riots
77 serious disturbances 51 violent incidents Source: J. Wasserman and E. Jaggard, Electoral Violence in England and Wales, Historical Research 80:207 (2006), pp. 124-55 Trade Unions and Strikes
The Preston Strike/Lock-Out, 1853-54 amid the resources of our manufacturing system, has been developed the power of blockading a town with an invisible enemy, of drawing a charmed circle around it more
effective than lines of [cannon], and of arriving slowly but surely at those results of starvation and destruction of property, which it costs the soldier so much clangour of arms to accomplish. The Westminster Review, 1854
The Strikes and Class Relations the Lancashire strikes remind us that our wealth and our prosperity depend on the will of men too ignorant to understand their own interests, or to listen to any argument save that enforced by the wretchedness to which they are reduced by their own folly. Statesman should remember the danger of lowering the franchise, while its intended recipients are so ignorant.
The Times, December 1854 Ethnic Tensions: the Irish The Irish Frankenstein Ireland after the Famine
Irish Potato Famine, 1845-52 More than a million dead of hunger and disease More than a million emigrated to Britain, the USA and the colonies Population of Ireland halved,
1841-1901 [Population of England and Wales doubled] Attack on Clerkenwell Prison, 1867 12 killed, 40 injured
No Popery! Catholics and Protestants The Martyrs Memorial, Oxford (1843) Anglicans and Nonconformists
The Church of England The Church by law established The monarch its Supreme Governor Bishops appointed by the government Parliament is the legislative
assembly of the Church of England Nonconformists/ Dissenters Protestant churches that refused to conform to the rites of the Church of England
E.g. Methodists, Baptists, Quakers Usually believed in the separation of Church and State, and sought to dismantle the privileges of the Church of England Peels Second Government,
1841-46 Reintroduction of income tax Free Trade in most foodstuffs and raw materials Repeal of the Corn Laws Goal: that thoughts of the dissolution of our institutions
should be forgotten in the midst of physical enjoyment. 10th April 1848 Disraeli, Sybil: or, the Two Nations (1845)
Two nations: between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each others habits, thoughts and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different
food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws. You speak of, said Egremont, hesitatingly. THE RICH AND THE POOR The Illustrated London News
(1848) We must now consider seriously whether this despised Chartism have not, after all, some possible truth and some real vitality in it, and investigate what social fire it is which produces the ugly smoke of Chartism.
The Great Exhibition, 1851 The Great Exhibition, 1851 The Volunteer Movement, 185960 G. Ludlow and L. Jones, The
Progress of the Working Class, 1832-1867 (1867) [In 1832], Political discontent was widespread, and discontent in those days was always very near to rebellion. The writer must confess to having his sharpened pike by him in 1832, ready for a march on London if the Reform Bill had not passed; and he was but one of thousands of
Manchester working men who were alike prepared for the dread hazard of civil war. he has since had the honour of serving in her Majestys Lanarkshire Volunteers Among the most striking evidences of this altered change of feeling has been the participation of the working classes in the Volunteer movement.
The US Civil War and the Cotton Famine, 1861-65 Gladstone: There is in mankind at large a sense of right and wrong, a sense of justice, on which reliance may be placed. Hoped that when the franchise was next discussed, the conduct of the men of Lancashire may be favourably remembered.
THE SECOND REFORM ACT, 1867 The Second Reformzzzzz Robert Lowe, 1866 If you want ignorance, if you want venality, if you want
drunkenness and facility for being intimidated, where do you look for them in the constituencies? Do you go to the top, or to the bottom?
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