The campaign for better public health was a major social issue in England during the second half of the nineteenth century. As in the case of Poor Law and factory reform, Edwin Chadwick stands as the person who directed public interest toward the need for sanitary reform. He did this through his association with the Poor Law Commission in the late 1830s, then through his seminal and widely read 1842 Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population . Chadwick's report captured the minds of many in the British upper middle class. The Health of Towns Association, founded in 1844, helped to diffuse information on the “physical and moral evils that result from the present defective sewerage, drainage, supply of water, air, and light. …” Although the sanitary reformers had made some minor gains by 1847, they had failed to produce a satisfactory bill that would allow government some role in coordinating sanitary improvement. At this point, neither Chadwick, nor any other leading proponent of sanitary legislation wanted to put full authority in the hands of the central government, but they did desire a more efficient combination of local and national control.
The sanitary reformers, and particularly Chadwick, achieved a measure of success in 1848 when the Public Health Bill received parliamentary approval. It was hoped the Act would bring about a useful consolidation of responsibility for drainage, sewerage, water supply, and road maintenance. Instead, the legislation spurred a furious debate over how much national government interference was acceptable. It did little to improve public health because the argument over government interference for a time took attention away from critical issues of sanitation reform. Although never completely overcome, the argument over principles faded in the 1850s in the face of an urgent need for reform.
Between 1864 and 1869, four laws, known as the Contagious Diseases Acts, were passed by the British Parliament in an attempt to reduce venereal disease in the armed services. These Acts, which applied to certain military stations, garrison, and seaport towns, gave a police officer authority to arrest any woman found within the specified areas whom he considered to be a prostitute. The woman in question was then brought before a magistrate who, if he agreed with the arresting officer, would order her to register and submit to a medical examination. If found to be suffering from venereal disease, she was sent to a hospital where she could be detained for three months or longer, at the discretion of the physican in charge. If she refused to submit to the examination or to enter the hospital, she could be imprisoned with or without hard labor.
This legislation was enacted at the urging of officials in the War Office and the Admiralty who believed that the efficiency of the army and navy was being dangerously impaired because of the high incidence of venereal disease. Ultimately, they maintained, the security of the nation itself would be jeopardized.
Parliament passed these laws very quietly, and the press referred to them only briefly, ostensibly because the subject was not considered seemly for public discussion. Little by little, however, English men and women became aware of this legislation, and with awareness came criticism.
Recent studies of the social history of birth control in America have noted the importance of eugenics in securing the acceptance of family planning between the two world wars. Similarly in England the endorsement of contraception as a method of “race improvement” by eugenists in the scientific, medical, academic and ecclesiastical communities greatly enhanced the credence and respectability of the birth control movement. In the anti-racist, genetically more sophisticated climate since the Second World War it is often forgotten how pervasive eugenic assumptions about human inheritance were in learned and socially elevated circles in the early twentieth century. Belief in the inheritability of myriad physical, psychological and behavioral characteristics, identifiable, even quantifiable, in particular ethnic groups and social classes was reinforced by expert scientific testimony, and, perhaps equally important, middle and upper class prejudices.
Birth control leaders, whose respectability was always in some doubt, were for the most part no exception and readily mingled with the estimable worthies who adorned the ranks of the elitist Eugenics Education Society founded in 1907. Several officers of the old Malthusian League, including its last president, Charles Vickery Drysdale, and his wife, Bessie, were early if troublesome recruits to the Society, while Marie Stopes, the most dynamic promoter of birth control in England in the inter-war years, joined in 1912, and eventually became a Life Fellow who left the organization a financial legacy, her famous clinic and much of her library, upon her death in 1958.
In the late nineteenth century professionalism and consumerism collided in a vociferous debate over the commodification of health. In medical journals, before government panels and through independent publications, doctors condemned “quackery,” especially patent medicines—the Victorian appellation for over-the-counter drugs. They dismissed myriad pills, tonics and appliances as addictive, dangerous, or useless. This professional critique, doctors claimed, was an altruistic defence of patients. Their commercial opponents, patent medicine men (and frequently the press), countered that the professional critique was rooted in a pecuniary struggle to achieve monopoly. While ascribing different motivations to each other, both sides assumed that medical professionals were unanimous in their condemnation of so-called “secret remedies.” Peter Bartrip has shown, though, that professional opposition to patent medicines was far more complex and muddied by self-interest. The British Medical Journal , while criticizing patent medicines, carried ads for them, which made the BMA the focus of allegations of hypocrisy in the Journal of the American Medical Association and before the Select Committee on Patent Medicines (1912). At the organizational level, Bartrip has established that the financial interests of the British Medical Association undercut its opposition to patent medicines. This compromised position, I will argue, permeated the profession. If the British Medical Association could not resist the advertising revenue derived from patent medicines, it was equally true that many doctors could not resist recommending patent medicines to patients. Far from epitomizing professional altruism, the patent medicine question demonstrates the reluctance of doctors to abandon individual self-interest in the wake of consumerist challenges that would ultimately transform twentieth-century medical practice. In doing so, the patent medicine debate engages and complicates arguments about the role of collective social mobility in the history of the professions.
In late 1912 British domestic social politics were dominated by the noisy dispute between David Lloyd George and the British Medical Association over the details of the national health insurance act. Led by the B.M.A., doctors bitterly opposed the insurance scheme and threatened to boycott panel medical service. The profession's inept political maneuvers and the skillful gamemanship of Lloyd George have been well documented by Bentley Gilbert, as well as Alfred Cox and William Braithwaite, two participants in the controversy. Yet, the story of the medical profession's relationship with the insurance act remains unfinished. Almost nothing is known about what followed the political collapse of the B.M.A. after medical benefit became a reality in January 1913. The post-January period, however, was nearly as tumultuous as 1912, and certainly more important to the efficient working of the insurance act which was for the next thirty-five years to provide health care to Britain's laboring poor. This essay will examine the conditions and politics of medical practice during the initial year of national health insurance in Britain.
Eighteenth-century British chemistry presents the historian with an interesting paradox. As theorists, the British hardly distinguished themselves. Joseph Black, the foremost professor of chemistry during the second half of the century and a man of great intellectual ability, began his career with a brilliant paper on pneumatic chemistry and then promptly abandoned the world of published research. Skillful investigators such as Stephen Hales and Joseph Priestley made many important discoveries, but the theories they offered as interpretations of their observations created as many difficulties as they resolved. Although British chemists hypothesized with gusto, the aethers and phlogistons they invoked to explain chemical phenomena lacked intellectual as well as physical gravity and historians of chemistry have not yet succeeded in clarifying the relationship between this welter of ideas and Lavoisier's successful recasting of chemical theory during the final decades of the century. Despite the inadequacy of its theoretical concepts, however, philosophical chemistry flourished in Great Britain during the eighteenth century. Although the absence of a unifying theory led to a rather undisciplined pattern of growth, the number of chemists actively studying philosophical problems certainly increased. Why did so many natural philosophers become interested in such a theoretically impoverished subject, and why, after two generations of intense investigation and reflection, were they unable to formulate an adequate general theory?
The main problem in staffing military hospitals with female nurses, Florence Nightingale explained in 1857, was to find “respectable and efficient women” who would be willing to undertake such work. Many women would apply for the positions but few would be acceptable. “Many a woman who will make a respectable and efficient Assistant-Nurse [the equivalent of our modern staff nurse] under the eye of a vigilant Head-Nurse, will not do at all when put in a military ward,” Nightingale said, because, “As a body, the mass of Assistant-Nurses are too low in moral principle, and too flighty in manner, to make any use of.” Nightingale thought that efficient and respectable assistant nurses had “in a great degree, to be created.” Developing respectability and efficiency in hospital nurses were the two major goals of nineteenth-century nursing reformers, and vigilant supervision was to be the major method for achieving them.
In 1926, Lord Beaverbrook introduced in his Sunday Express a biographical series under the oxymoron: “Splendid Failures.” The purpose was to praise public figures who had been branded failures. The first person Beaverbrook chose as a subject for his new feature was Charles F. G. Masterman, who fulfilled the purpose of the series, Beaverbrook believed, because Masterman's success outweighed his failure to endure on the political scene. Dictating Beaverbrook's choice was Masterman's work in carrying through Part I (which dealt with health insurance) of the National Insurance Act of 1911. Beaverbrook concluded that Masterman should be given “full credit” for this accomplishment. Charles Masterman was not undeserving of Beaverbrook's attention for no one worked with more dedication than he to guarantee the Parliamentary passage of this important Edwardian social reform. Masterman's support for health insurance has generally been acknowledged, but his administrative ability, used to guarantee the practical implementation of the social reform legislation, has seldom been recognized. In fact, Masterman as a political figure has received only limited attention. This perhaps has been the result of the concern by historians with the decline in the fortunes of the Liberal Party as well as their tendency to label Masterman a pessimist. Masterman, nevertheless, regarded health insurance optimistically, satisfied that it represented a positive outcome of his long-time involvement with social criticism and hoping that its success would encourage the Liberal Party to assume a more radical social reform policy.
In the West, sexuality has always been viewed with suspicion and sexual acts which, on the surface, seem harmless have represented attacks of a most profound sort on society. At least until the nineteenth century, when masturbation moved to center stage, sodomy was probably the major taboo. The reasons for this fear are complex. On the symbolic level, sodomy was linked with death and evil. The sodomite was wedded to the bowels and thus to the bowels of the earth where men rotted and decayed. Further, because of the enormous power of the Sodom and Gommorah story in the Old Testament, few doubted that sexual acts had social repercussions. The sodomite was dangerous. Once before in history, sodomites had caused the destruction of two cities by defying the moral code of the Lord. While fear of fire and brimstone may have faded, there were innumerable other catastrophes which the Lord might visit on those who sinned. In the pre-nineteenth century world, where the idea of mastering nature was tempered by respect for its power, sodomy was a cause of grave concern. Sodomites were often executed because to allow them to live was to court disaster.
When disaster did strike, it was common for clergymen and other societal spokesmen to blame licentiousness and specifically homosexuality. After the relatively mild earthquakes that shook London in 1750, the Bishop of London stressed that “Blasphemous language was used openly in the streets. Lewd pictures illustrated all the abominations of the public stews, and were tolerated. There was much homosexuality.” A poet compared the London quakes with a similar disaster in Jamaica.
Throughout the nineteenth century, auto-eroticism was viewed as a great evil, a threat to the individual and to society. At one time or another, nearly every disease which nineteenth-century doctors could not cure was blamed on self-abuse. Summing up the relationship between masturbation and illness, French doctor Eugene Beckland wrote in 1842, “Many physicians of high authority have maintained that two-thirds of the diseases to which the human race is liable have had their origins in certain solitary practices ….” As to the impact of masturbation on society, Dr. Révéillé Parisé observed in 1828, In my opinion, neither plague, nor war, nor small pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicous habit of onanism. It is the destroying element of civilized societies, which is constantly in action and gradually undermines the health of a nation.
Since 1953, when René Spitz published his important article on the subject, a number of scholars have tried to explain the intense concern with masturbation in the nineteenth century. Spitz argued that the heightened interest in self-abuse reflected the shift to Protestant culture with its emphasis on individual responsibility for sin. More recently, John and Robin Haller used similar arguments to explain it. Other writers such as E. H. Hare and Edward Shorter have argued that one reason why fear of masturbation increased was that people began indulging in the solitary vice to a greater extent than ever before. Men and women were masturbating more—and if they read medical journals on the subject—enjoying it less. Hare speculated that this was because of fear of venereal disease caused by intercourse, a great concern in the nineteenth century. Masturbation was safer. Shorter, who saw masturbation as part of a general increase in sexual appetite, asserted that it was “unlikely that masturbation … was practiced on a wide scale before the premarital sexual revolution.” It is not likely that historians will uncover reliable data on incidence of self-abuse to prove or disprove this hypothesis.
The Later Tudors is an authoritative and comprehensive study of England between the accession of Edward VI and the death of Elizabeth I--a turbulent period of conflict amongst European nations, and between warring Catholics and Protestants. These internal and external struggles created anxiety in England, but by the end of Elizabeth's reign the nation had achieved a remarkable sense of political and religious identity. Penry Williams combines the political, religious and economic history of the nation with a broader analysis of English society, family relations, and culture, in order to explain the workings and development of the English state. The result is an incisive and wide-ranging analysis that culminates in an assessment of England's part in the shaping of the New World.
This is the first intensive study of an industrial community in early modern England. Whickham, a village built on an underground mountain of coal in north-east England, was arguably Britain's first modern industrial society. David Levine and Keith Wrightson employ the latest techniques of socio-historical research and make full use of a wide variety of contemporary sources to explore many aspects of life in Whickham between 1560 and 1765. They bring together vital strands - including industrial development, agrarian change, social stratification, demography, religion, work, leisure, living standards, kinship and the family - to produce a rounded and vivid picture, which throws into relief the achievements, benefits, and costs of the complex process of industrialization. The development of Whickham is set in the larger context of socio-economic change during this period. This is a major contribution to the history of early modern England.
Between the restoration of Charles II and the battle of Waterloo, England gradually emerged as the core nation of the most formidable superpower the world had yet seen. Wilfrid Prest investigates this remarkable transformation from domestic instability and external weakness to global, economic, and military predominance. Geographically, the main focus is on England and Wales, but Prest also analyses the broader British context, discussing the role played by Ireland and Scotland, as well as the interrelations between England, Europe, and the wider world. He examines the lives of ordinary people as well as the ruling elite, and explores the distinctive nature of women's experiences, allowing the voices of the past to speak directly to the modern reader. The result is a lively, up-to-date, and comprehensive overview of Britain's 'long eighteenth century'. It will remain a standard text on the subject for many years to come.
This book considers the impact of slavery and Atlantic trade on British economic development in the generations between the restoration of the Stuart monarchy and the era of the Younger Pitt. During this period Britain’s trade became ‘Americanised’ and industrialisation began to occur in the domestic economy. The slave trade and the broader patterns of Atlantic commerce contributed important dimensions of British economic growth although they were more significant for their indirect, qualitative contribution than for direct quantitative gains. Kenneth Morgan investigates five key areas within the topic that have been subject to historical debate: the profits of the slave trade; slavery, capital accumulation and British economic development; exports and transatlantic markets; the role of business institutions; and the contribution of Atlantic trade to the growth of British ports. This stimulating and accessible book provides essential reading for students of slavery and the slave trade, and British economic history.
Agricultural historians have collected and published a remarkable amount of material in recent years, partly as a result of the ongoing series ‘The Agrarian History of England and Wales’. Missing from the Agrarian History volumes covering 1640–1850 has been any sustained analysis of agricultural rent, a perhaps surprising omission in view of the enormous sums of money which passed between landlords and tenants annually, and given the importance of the subject in terms of our understanding of the general course of change in agriculture and the economy more generally. In recent years the availability of estate accounts in public archive repositories has made available a range of data for the period c.1690 to the First World War, after which the material is voluminous and well known. In this book, based on research in archives across the country, the authors have produced a new rent index which will become the basis on which all future researchers in the field will rely.
This is a major college text. It will become prescribed reading for anyone studying British history in the 18th and 19th centuries. The book examines the massive structural change, the creation of national markets, and the economic growth which characterized the movement from agriculture to industry. In 1700 Britain was a rural country. By 1850, the year before the Great Exhibition, it was 'the workshop of the world'. The debate on the relationship between poverty and progress is at the core of this clear and wide-ranging analysis of the world's first industrialized nation.
During the last third of the eighteenth century, most parishes in rural southern England adopted policies providing poor relief outside workhouses to unemployed and underemployed able-bodied labourers. The debate over the economic effects of ‘outdoor’ relief payments to able-bodied workers has continued for over 200 years. This book examines the economic role of the Poor Law in the rural south of England. It presents a model of the agricultural labour market that provides explanations for the widespread adoption of outdoor relief policies, the persistence of such policies until the passage of the Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834, and the sharp regional differences in the administration of relief. The book challenges many commonly held beliefs about the Poor Law and concludes that the adoption of outdoor relief for able-bodied paupers was a rational response by politically dominant farmers to changes in the rural economic environment.
The long-running debate on Britain's apparent economic decline in the last 120 years (not exactly noticeable in the living standards of ordinary people, which have risen enormously in that time) has generated a large economic and statistical literature and a great deal of heat in rival social and cultural explanations. The 'decline' has been confidently attributed to the permeation of the business elite by the anti-industrial and anti-commercial attitudes communicated by public schools and the old universities through their propagation of aristocratic and gentry values; and the readiness of the buiness elite to be thus permeated has been ascribed to the persistent tendency of new men of wealth to transform themselves into landed gentlemen. There have been equally confident claims to have overturned this traditional view that wealthy merchants and industrialists sought to acquire landed estates and country houses, and to have established that 'gentlemanly values' were in fact economically advantageous to Britain because she never was a primarily industrial economy. In this book, Professor Thompson subjects these interpretations to the test of the actual evidence, and firmly re-establishes the conventional wisdom on the characteristic desire of new money to acquire land and a place in the country, an aspiration which continues to be manifest today. At the same time, he shows that aristocratic and gentry cultures have not by any means been consistently anti-industrial or anti-business, and that many of the businessmen-turned-landowners have in fact not turned their backs on industry, but have founded business dynasties. Gentrification has indeed occurred ona large scale over the last two hundred years, but has had no discernible effects one way or the other on Britain' economic performance. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/history/9780199243303/toc.html
This is a study of the emergence, growth and performance of British multinational banks from their origins in the 1830s until the present day. British owned banks played leading roles in the financial systems of much of Asia and the Southern hemishere during the nineteenth century and after. In the 1970s and 1980s, they made large investments in California and elsewhere in the United States. They played major roles in the finance of international trade, in international diplomacy, in the birth of the Eurodollar market, and in the world debt crisis. This is the first modern general history of these banks. It is based on a wide range of confidential banking archives in Britain, Australia and Hong Kong, most of which were previously unavailable. Geoffrey Jones places this new empirical evidence in the context of modern theories of multinational enterprise and of competitive advantage. This is a lucidly written and fascinating study, of importance not only to historians but also to anyone concerned with contemporary multinational banking. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/management/9780198206026/toc.html
This is the first in-depth study of the involvement of businessmen in the campaign for Tariff Reform, the most important and pervasive political debate on economic policy in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Previously published work on Tariff Reform has concentrated on its political or "social-imperialist" dimensions, and our knowledge of businessmen's motivations, objectives, and strategies has been under-developed. This book is organized around an analysis of the pressure and propaganda groups directed, or supposedly directed, by protectionist businessmen themselves. Detailed treatment of Joseph Chamberlain's Tariff Commission before the Great War, and of successor organizations such as the Empire Development Union and the Empire Industries Association, provide a thread of continuity from Chamberlain's Birmingham speech in 1903 to the Import Duties Act in 1932. Less overtly political bodies, such as the Federation of British Industries, the National Union of Manufacturers, and the chambers of commerce, are also studied. The book includes the first in-depth investigation into the development of protectionism during the First World War, and presents a new analysis of the turbulent events of 1929-1932. Andrew Marrison gives particular attention to the questions of economic motivation and industry-alignment - areas where oversimplification and generalization have been common - and to the relationship between business participants and their political mentors. The general conclusion is one of a "primacy of politics", a fragmentation of the corporate ideal, in which the lack of influence of the businessman, and especially of the manufacturer, in British politics and British society meant that the Edwardians' fear of protectionist vested interests was highly exaggerated. The cunning, grasping businessman of legend is found to be little more than fiction.
Covering the period from the late 1930s up to the spring of 1940, this book offers the first systematic comparison of how two countries, Britain and France, responded to the possibility and then reality of total war by examining developments in three dimensions: strategic, domestic political, and political economic. To date, studies of French and British policies during this period have focused almost exclusively on diplomatic and military events. Yet because twentieth-century war demanded a massive effort on the part of nations and societies, its study requires a broader approach, one that encompasses the political, social, and economic dimensions as well as the links between them. Using a wide array of archival and secondary sources, including the records of government departments, trade unions, business groups, and political parties, the book demonstrates that the British were more successful in managing the strains of modern industrial war than the French. Whereas in France political, economic, and military developments combined to produce a multi-faceted crisis by early 1940, imperilling the war effort against Germany, developments in Britain followed a different course that laid the political and economic foundations for a long war. The book's wide-ranging approach will interest political, social, economic, and military historians as well as historians of modern Europe, France, and Britain. More precisely, it addresses such current historical debates as the nature of the political Right and Left in Europe during the 1930s, the extent of rearmament and economic mobilization, and the causes of France's defeat in 1940. The book will also interest political scientists, particularly International Relations (IR). As an extended comparison of how two liberal democracies met the challenge of war, it addresses debates concerning the relationship between democratic regimes and capabilities for war, the influence of domestic versus systemic factors on national policies, and the nature and relative performance of different types of political economic regimes. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/history/9780199261222/toc.html
This book traces the shift from medieval to modern institutions in English agriculture. It explores their importance for productivity growth, income distribution, and the contribution of agriculture to British economic development. Robert C. Allen's pioneering study shows that, contrary to the assumption of many historians, small-scale farmers in the open-field system were responsible for a considerable proportion of the productivity growth achieved between the middle ages and the nineteenth century. The process of enclosure and the replacement of these yeomen by large-scale tenant farming relying on wage labour had relatively little impact on the agricultural contribution to economic development during the industrial revolution. Enclosures and large farms enriched landowners without benefiting consumers, workers, or farmers. Thoroughly grounded in the archival sources, and underpinned by rigorous economic analysis, Enclosure and the Yeoman is a scholarly and challenging reassessment of the history of English agriculture. It will be indispensable reading for all historians concerned with the making of modern Britain. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/history/9780198282969/toc.html
People like to believe in a past golden age of `traditional' English countryside, before large farms, machinery, and the destruction of hedgerows changed the landscape forever. However, that countryside may have looked both more and less familiar than we imagine. Take, for example, today's startling yellow fields of rapeseed, seemingly more suited to the landscape of Van Gogh than Constable. They were in fact, thoroughly familiar to fieldworkers in seventeenth-century England. At the same time, some features that would have gone unremarked in the past now seem like oddities. In the fifteenth century, rabbits were reared in specially guarded warrens as luxury food for rich men's tables; whilst houses had moats not only to defence but to provide a source of fresh fish. In the 1500s we find Catherine of Aragon introducing the concept of fresh salad to the court of Henry VIII; and in the 1600s, artichoke gardens became a fashion of the gentry in their hope of producing more male heirs. The common tomato, suspected of being poisonous in 1837, was transformed into a household vegetable by the end of the nineteenth century, thanks to cheaper glass-making methods and the resulting increase in glasshouses. In addition to these fascinating images of past lives, Joan Thirsk reveals how the forces which drive our current interest in alternative forms of agriculture - a glut of mainstream meat and cereal crops; changing patterns of diet; the needs of medicine - have striking parallels with earlier periods of our history. She warns us that today's decisions should not be made in a historical vacuum. We can still find solutions to today's problems in the hard-won experience of people in the past.
Kleinwort Benson is one of the most distinguished international investment banks in the City of London, becoming part of the Dresdner Bank Group in 1995. This is the story of how two families, the Kleinworts and the Bensons, emerged from medieval beginnings in Holstein and the Lake District to seek their fortunes in Hamburg, Cuba, and Liverpool, before arriving in the 1850s in London. There they founded two very different merchant banks, which merged in 1967 to create Kleinwort Benson Lonsdale, later Kleinwort Benson. The Kleinwort Benson story mirrors both the spectacular growth of English capital and its often turbulent side-effects. It shows how the two families survived the collapse of the Benson bank in 1875, the freezing of Kleinwort assets and business by the European financial crisis of 1931, and two World Wars, and how they established their banks as powerful City players in the postwar period. Their story is as much a human drama as a financial history. Brimming with generations of Kleinworts, Bensons, and the families with whom they married and formed partnerships, the book evokes their feuds and friendships, their successes and failures, set against the background of more than two hundred years of social and business history. This is the first full history of Kleinwort Benson. It contributes to our understanding of the way in which business is carried out in the City of London, and provides fascinating insights into the lives of those concerned. Jehanne Wake was given unrestricted access to the bank's archives and staff and has drawn upon a wealth of original sources to furnish this lively and readable history of the members of two banking dynasties and their boardroom successors.
This book presents an important episode in the twentieth-century history of the United Kingdom: the largest public housing scheme ever undertaken in Britain (and at the time of its planning, in the world). Built between 1921 and 1934, the London County council's Becontree Estate housed over 110.000 people in 25,000 dwellings. Andrzej Olechnowicz discusses the early years of the estate, looking in detail at the philosophy behind its construction and management policies, and showing how it eventually came to be denigrated as a social concentration camp exemplifying all the political dangers of a mass culture. He investigates life on the estate, both through an appraisal of the facilities provided and , as far as possible, through the eyes of the inhabitants, using interviews with surviving tenants from the inter-war period. Thus he is able to show how high rents excluded many families in greatest housing need, and how tenants found it difficult to adjust to the costs of suburban living. This is a wide ranging study that deals with both the `nuts and bolts' of mass housing, with ideas on citizenship and the creation of communities. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/history/9780198206507/toc.html
By the mid-eighteenth century, the transatlantic slave trade was considered to be a necessary and stabilizing factor in the capitalist economies of Europe and the expanding Americas. Britain was the most influential power in this system which seemed to have the potential for unbounded growth. In 1833, the British empire became the first to liberate its slaves and then to become a driving force toward global emancipation. There has been endless debate over the reasons behind this decision. This has been portrayed on the one hand as a rational disinvestment in a foundering overseas system, and on the other as the most expensive per capita expenditure for colonial reform in modern history. In this work, Seymour Drescher argues that the plan to end British slavery, rather than being a timely escape from a failing system, was, on the contrary, the crucial element in the greatest humanitarian achievement of all time. The Mighty Experiment explores how politicians, colonial bureaucrats, pamphleteers, and scholars taking anti-slavery positions validated their claims through rational scientific arguments going beyond moral and polemical rhetoric, and how the infiltration of the social sciences into this political debate was designed to minimize agitation on both sides and provide common ground. Those at the inception of the social sciences, such as Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus, helped to develop these tools to create an argument that touched on issues of demography, racism, and political economy. By the time British emancipation became legislation, it was being treated as a massive social experiment, whose designs, many thought, had the potential to change the world. This study outlines the relationship of economic growth to moral issues in regard to slavery, and will appeal to scholars of British history, nineteenth century imperial history, the history of slavery, and those interested in the history of human rights.
This is the biography of one of the most original and widely significant, yet largely forgotten, British scientists. Frederick Soddy is an intriguing figure who was deeply concerned with and involved in politics, economics, and the role of science in the world. He was one of the first generation of English atomic scientists, working with Rutherford on the initial discoveries about atomic disintegration, and received the Nobel Prize in 1921 for hi research on isotopes. Soddy's worry about the responsibility of science and scientists to society began with his fear that the atomic energy he and Rutherford had discovered could be disastrous if suitable political controls were not enforced, and led to his abandoning scientific research. He lived to see his worst fears realized with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Soddy was a pioneer in the field of energy conservation and environmental ethics, and was committed to social reform. Frederick Soddy was a remarkable and talented man who was not recognized as such in his own life-time, largely because his ideas and attitudes did not fit in with the times in which he lived. However he has become more appreciated since his death, not only because his scientific work has gained its rightful recognition, but also because of the increased awareness today of the environment and the role of science in it.
A potent mixt of salvation and adventure, the Crusades were one of the most prominent features of medieval Europe, reflecting and directing religious and secular movements in Western society for half a millennium. Christopher Tyerman offers the first book-length study of the role of England in the Crusades. Focusing on the courtroom and council chamber rather than the battlefield, he demonstrates the impact of the Crusades on the political and economic functions of English society. Drawing on a wide range of archival, chronicle, and literary evidence, Tyerman brings to life the royal personalities, foreign policy, political intrigue, taxation and fundraising, and the crusading ethos that gripped England for hundreds of years. "An ambitious task to undertake. . . . Tyerman has done the job not only thoroughly but brilliantly. . . . A highly impressive study, deserving rich praise and wide readership."âNorman Housley, Times Literary Supplement "Christopher Tyerman has written a wonderful book. . . . [He] manages to confront thorny issues in scholarship and to contribute new perspectives on them."âWilliam Chester Jordan, American Historical Review "Tyerman provides valuable insights into preaching, recruitment, and the funding and organisation of crusading expeditions. . . . Fascinating new perspectives on English history."âEdward Powell, Sunday Times "Impressive. . . . Tyerman's research has yielded valuable evidence, and his admirably lucid argument sheds new light on a complex and bloody period in English history."âVirginia Quarterly Review
The English literary canon is haunted by the figure of the lost woman writer. In our own age, she has been a powerful stimulus for the rediscovery of works written by women. But as Jennifer Summit argues, "the lost woman writer" also served as an evocative symbol during the very formation of an English literary tradition from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries. Lost Property traces the representation of women writers from Margery Kempe and Christine de Pizan to Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots, exploring how the woman writer became a focal point for emerging theories of literature and authorship in English precisely because of her perceived alienation from tradition. Through original archival research and readings of key literary texts, Summit writes a new history of the woman writer that reflects the impact of such developments as the introduction of printing, the Reformation, and the rise of the English court as a literary center. A major rethinking of the place of women writers in the histories of books, authorship, and canon-formation, Lost Property demonstrates that, rather than being an unimaginable anomaly, the idea of the woman writer played a key role in the invention of English literature.
This book is an exploration in social history, showing how the practices surrounding death and burial can illumine urban culture and experience. Vanessa Harding focuses on the crowded and turbulent worlds of early modern London and Paris, and makes rich use of contemporary documentation to compare and contrast their experience of dealing with the dead. The two cities shared many of the problems and pressures of urban life, including high mortality rates and a tradition of Christian burial and there are many similarities in their responses to death. The treatment of the dead reveals the communities' preoccupation with the use of space, control of the physical environment and the ordering of society and social behaviour.
• Major study of death in the two great cities of Northern Europe • A vivid evocation of the impact of Reformation on a major cultural practice, with numerous examples from specific sites in both Paris and London • Richly documented and illustrated from contemporary accounts.
Sumario: Life insurance in Europe: origins and legal development -- Life insurance in its cultural context -- The life insurance business in its formative years -- Demographic calculation and the management of investment -- The social composition of the life insurance market -- Life insurance, science, and the construction of capitalism
The movement from tradition to modernity engulfed all of the Jewish communities in the West, but hitherto historians have concentrated on the intellectual revolution in Germany by Moses Mendelssohn in the second half of the eighteenth century as the decisive event in the origins of Jewish modernity. In The Jews of Georgian England, Todd M. Endelman challenges the Germanocentric orientation of the bulk of modern Jewish historiography and argues that the modernization of European Jewry encompassed far more than an intellectual revolution. His study recounts the rise of the Anglo-Jewish elite--great commercial and financial magnates such as the Goldsmids, the Franks, Samson Gideon, and Joseph Salvador--who rapidly adopted the gentlemanly style of life of the landed class and adjusted their religious practices to harmonize with the standards of upper-class Englishmen. Similarly, the Jewish poor--peddlers, hawkers, and old-clothes men--took easily to many patterns of lower-class life, including crime, street violence, sexual promiscuity, and coarse entertainment. An impressive marshaling of fact and analysis, The Jews of Georgian England serves to illuminate a significant aspect of the Jewish passage to modernity. "Contributes to English as well as Jewish history. . . . Every reader will learn something new about the statistics, setting or mores of Jewish life in the eighteenth century. . . ." --American Historical Review Todd M. Endelman is William Haber Professor of Modern Jewish History, University of Michigan. He is also the author of Comparing Jewish Societies, Jewish Apostasy in the Modern World, and Radical Assimilation in English Jewish History, 1656-1945.
In the wake of the French Revolution, Edmund Burke argued that civil order depended upon nurturing the sensibility of menâupon the masculine cultivation of traditionally feminine qualities such as sentiment, tenderness, veneration, awe, gratitude, and even prejudice. Writers as diverse as Sterne, Goldsmith, Burke, and Rousseau were politically motivated to represent authority figures as men of feeling, but denied women comparable authority by representing their feelings as inferior, pathological, or criminal. Focusing on Mary Wollstonecraft, Ann Radcliffe, Frances Burney, and Jane Austen, whose popular works culminate and assail this tradition, Claudia L. Johnson examines the legacy male sentimentality left for women of various political persuasions. Demonstrating the interrelationships among politics, gender, and feeling in the fiction of this period, Johnson provides detailed readings of Wollstonecraft, Radcliffe, and Burney, and treats the qualities that were once thought to mar their workâgrotesqueness, strain, and excessâas indices of ideological conflict and as strategies of representation during a period of profound political conflict. She maintains that the reactionary reassertion of male sentimentality as a political duty displaced customary gender roles, rendering women, in Wollstonecraft's words, "equivocal beings."