First Published in 1991. Reshaping Rural England covers the crucial period of English rural history from the high point of Britain's agricultural power in the 1850s and 1860s through to the grim years of the inter-war period. Uncovering many of the myths of an idyllic rural England, Howkins looks in detail at the role of women, the workplace, the family and religion. Topics covered include: * the creation of a stable social order by the rural elites, concealing widespread poverty and disorder. * the economic collapse of the cereal market in the 1870s. * the emergence of trade unions and other forms of social conflict in the countryside. * changes in agricultural production and the horror of war. Alun Howkins combines the concerns of the new social history with original research to produce an accessible and coherent account of the transformation of a society.
Table of Contents
Preface; Abbreviations Introduction The Rural World: Nation and Community Farm and Family The Sources of Stability and Harmony The Problems of Consensus: The Contradictions of the System The Problems of Consensus: Disorder and Crime The Crisis of Rural Society: 'The Wealthy and the Great' The Crisis of Rural Society: 'The Labouring Poor' A New Rural England The Rural Social Structure 1895-1914: Continuity and Discontinuity The Great War Aftermath 1918-1925