Politics, Class and Society
This book aims to describe and analyse the political and social thinking, attitudes and actions of the English Protestant churches since the late eighteenth century. It focuses in particular on how they have responded to the plight of the least privileged members of society – individuals and groups marginalised or placed at a disadvantage as a consequence of their ethnicity or socioeconomic circumstances. These have been the nation’s underdogs, the most powerless of its inhabitants, and this book explores the involvement of the churches in attempting to create a fairer society, from the anti-slavery campaign to the present day.
Chapter 3: The churches and continuing massive social change: 1832 to c.1870
← 116 | 117 →
The churches and continuing massive social change: 1832 to c.1870
The churches in the midst of massive social change
Few would question the remarkable scale of change in the political, social and economic landscape of England in the years covered by this chapter. Although the 1832 Reform Act extended the franchise, its importance was more in the fact that it was the first substantial breaking of the political mould that had previously existed for almost two hundred years. It heralded the beginning of a new attitude to political life to a degree that was not fully appreciated, and with consequences that could not have been fully realised, at the time. It was in fact a watershed. Gone forever was the old order in which the landed and privileged classes had exclusive control over a tight and closed political regime that was almost entirely uninfluenced, or even affected, except on certain occasions, by the opinions of the vast majority of the population that had no say in what was discussed or decided. In 1832, the first big step was taken on the road to the fully fledged modern state. It was the initial measure that was to be succeeded within a hundred years by the further extension of the franchise, including votes for women; the emergence of political parties with precise programmes and policies, including one later that was specifically geared to the needs and demands of the working...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.