It involved a local argument over access to the Newcastle Town Moor. In there was an attempt to enclose part of Newcastle Town Moor which had previously existed as common land. An indignant local population decided to fight the decision of the Common Council and in the action of the Council was overturned.
In many ways his own lecture to the Newcastle Philosophical Society two years later was this principle writ large, arguing for the land in general to belong to the people. Spence has not seen as much attention as other radical figures from the period such as Thomas Paine or William Cobbett, however, this is changing. Spence is enjoying increased recognition from historians, literary critics, and the wider public more generally.
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In a reflection of this trend towards greater acknowledgment of Spence and his achievements, a memorial plaque was unveiled on the Newcastle Quay side in June The Thomas Spence Society had campaigned for a number of years to have this memorial put in place. However, his ability to alter and impact upon the emerging radical-democratic discourse was predicated on his unique personal history of political engagement in Newcastle.
It was this city which provided Spence with his own political philosophy and the tools to effectively engage his discourse in the radical public sphere. Britain was not an absolute centralised state in the late 18 th century and fostered strong regional cultures and civic identities. Quick Book Search Search Advanced. Advanced Search Title.
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Series name. Language English Spanish Bilingual. Menu Find a Book. Home Sign In Contact Us. Main Menu Search. British Society, Dynamism, Cont Summary Note: summary text provided by external source. Only in the s — after campaigns like the one to repeal the Contagious Diseases Act — did the Victorian state begin to take direct responsibility for policing morals.
British Society 1680-1880: Dynamism, Containment and Change
Is this interpretation really so novel? And some of the detail, too, is questionable. Free trade was a remarkably tenacious doctrine, lasting well beyond the s in fact, until Revenue derived from direct taxation did not begin to overtake that derived from indirect tax until after Apart from the prison service it is difficult to think of many institutions or social agencies which were taken over by central government before the Education Act.
Inspectorates, minimum standards enforceable in the courts, local ratepayer control and permissive legislation remained common in the late 19th century. Indeed, one of the most important aspects of parochial administration — the Poor Law — was not superseded by central government until Furthermore, the complex voter registration system rendered household suffrage more of an ideal than a reality until The death in London of the as yet unknown Dr Marx, and the birth of Keynes and Attlee, together with the publication of J. But was it really the long 18th century which was being transformed, or the short 19th?
Mammon, Empire and Parliament. In these three areas Victorian Britain looks fundamentally different from the 18th century, and because they are unduly neglected by Price, it is inevitable that continuity rather than change will appear to be the hallmark of the period down to the s. Personal wealth of an unprecedented kind was amassed in Britain from the second quarter of the 19th century onwards.
After , fixed capital investment displaced the old cash and burn economy in cotton and other manufacturing.
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Similarly, the railway boom of to created a shareholding capitalist economic culture, in which great fortunes were made. The discovery of gold in Australia and California in the s, and the new opportunities to invest in the France of Louis Philippe and, even more, that of Napoleon III, as well as in northern Italy and in tsarist Russia, fuelled this capitalism. While there has been a long debate about what industrialists and city financiers did with their money, there is no doubt that in the Victorian era there were many more rich men and, indeed, millionaires than in the previous century.
Miles Taylor reviews ‘British Society ’ by Richard Price · LRB 22 June
The wealth they possessed and generated transformed the urban topography of England and lowland Scotland, and created an ethos of charity and philanthropy which meant that local government, infrastructural improvement and social reform could be obtained on the cheap. By neither old landed wealth nor new capitalist wealth remained as buoyant — this was the reason for the crisis of municipal finance and voluntary welfare provision at the turn of the century.
Victorian Britain was also manifestly an imperial state in a way 18th-century Britain was not. Before , the management of the Empire was left to trading companies and garrison armies, far removed from the metropole: from , imperial acquisitions in South-East Asia and coastal Africa, and colonial settlements in Australasia, the West Indies and British North America were more carefully monitored and controlled by London. By civil government at home was effectively responsible for more than three times as many peoples in the overseas Empire as in mainland Britain.
The affairs of the Empire — slavery, finance, civil rights, armed forces, Protestant missionaries — became intertwined with Victorian domestic politics in ways which historians are only now beginning to document.
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The Treasury sought to square the circle of cheaper government at home and a spiralling defence burden in the Empire. Mid-Victorian Parliaments debated lowering the franchise in large towns with an anxious eye on the operation of democracy in the Australian states and in the West Indies. Empire brought a more militaristic ethos in its wake, transforming notions of civility from their polite Enlightenment origins into the harder ideals of citizenship and masculinity common after Evangelicalism at home was intensified by the spread of the gospel overseas. And empire struck back on the political scene, too.
cns2.easyhost.pk Ireland shattered the Liberal Party in the s, and the century closed with the most disruptive imperial episode of all: the South African War. The Empire was also something of a laboratory for social reform at home.