Article

Reformed and Unreformed Britain, 1689–180

Julian Hoppit

in The Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Régime

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199291205
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199291205.013.0029

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Reformed and Unreformed Britain, 1689–180

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Political society in Britain changed subtly yet profoundly from 1689 to 1801. But there was not much method to this. This gave Britain's regime a somewhat unsettled and uncertain disposition. Power could also be exercised very capriciously, while the high level of inequality made many feel oppressed and excluded. But a revolutionary moment akin to France in 1789 was avoided, despite the tremendous stresses and strains experienced in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, caused by dramatic population growth, mushrooming towns and cities, an infant industrial revolution, class formation, challenging new ideas, and two bloody, long, and expensive wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France. As has been seen, British political society was far from poorly prepared to deal with those new challenges. And so the story of change continued.

Keywords: political society; Britain; revolution; wars; new ideas; class formation; inequality

Article.  8616 words. 

Subjects: History ; British History

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