Chapter

‘A torrent of gin and beer’

Michael R. Watts

in The Dissenters Volume III

Published in print March 2015 | ISBN: 9780198229698
Published online April 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191744754 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198229698.003.0026
‘A torrent of gin and beer’

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This chapter describes how the Education Act provoked a Nonconformist revolt in which Dissenters tried to use the new political influence bestowed on them by the 1867 Reform Act to force the Liberal party to accede to their wishes. Radical Nonconformists contributed to a series of Liberal by-election losses between 1871 and 1873, and to the ultimate Tory victory in the general election of 1874, by driving moderate Anglicans, who had hitherto supported the Liberals, into the arms of the Conservatives. Nonconformists also helped to drive voters away from the Liberal party by supporting the United Kingdom Alliance's campaign to curb the sale of alcohol.

Keywords: Forster Education Act; education policy; Nonconformists; Liberal party; political influence; 1867 Reform Act; Conservatives; United Kingdom Alliance

Chapter.  3252 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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