This authoritative and thought-provoking history takes a fresh view of what was a period of unprecedented and rapid change. Assuming no prior knowledge of the subject, Hugh Cunningham provides a clear narrative of political events, and an analysis of change and continuity in ideas and in economic and social structure. Britain is set firmly in the context of world power and the possession of empire. An overarching theme is the challenge presented by democracy in a period framed by the First and Fourth Reform Acts. ‘Democracy’ had no stable meaning, and its opponents were just as vocal as its advocates. The book explores its implications for the role of the state, for the governance of empire, and for the relationship between the different nations within the United Kingdom.
Table of Contents
Britain in the 1830s
An Age of Reform: 1832-48
Mid-Victorian Britain: 1848-66
Progress and Anxiety
Stepping Stones to Democracy: 1867-86
The Conservative Ascendancy: 1886-1905
An Urban Society: Britain 1870-1918
Empire and Nation: The British and their Identities
The Birth of the Modern State: 1905-14
Britain at War: 1914-18
Britain in 1918
Hugh Cunningham is Professor of Social History, University of Kent. He is the author of several books, including the highly-regarded Children and Childhood in Western Society since 1500 (Longman, 1995).