Paul Langford

in Public Life and the Propertied Englishman 1689–1798

Published in print August 1994 | ISBN: 9780198205340
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676574 | DOI:

Series: Ford Lectures


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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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Many developments described in this book continued far beyond the end of the 18th century. The success of the landed gentry in preserving their control of the counties, with the aid of co-operative clergy and increasingly quiescent tenantry, was a still more striking feature of Victorian than of Hanoverian society. Middle-class improvers went on ruling many towns and cities. That harmony was obtained in a ruling class which survived in large part because it had not been necessary to define it or its interests too rigorously. The reforms which demolished the old framework of political life were those which took effect some thirty years after the 18th century had closed. The repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts terminated a century and a half of Anglican ascendancy, and the Great Reform Act abolished a century and a half of parliamentary oligarchy.

Keywords: social development; political development; 18th century; ruling class; England

Chapter.  2358 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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