Non-Fiction Books:

Aristocratic Government in the Age of Reform

Whigs and Liberals 1830-1852



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Aristocratic Government in the Age of Reform by Peter Mandler
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This book challenges the view that there was a smooth and inevitable progression towards liberalism in early 19th century England. It examines the argument of the high whigs that the landed aristocracy still had a positive contribution to make to the welfare of the people. This argument gained significance as the "laissez-faire" state met with serious reverses in the 1830s and 1840s, when the bulk of the people proved unwilling to accept the "compromise" forged between the middle classes and other sections of the landed elite, and mass movements for political and social reform proliferated. The whigs' readiness to embrace these pressures from without kept them in power for 16 of the 22 years between 1830 and 1852, and permitted them to serve as the midwives of the "Victorian origins of the welfare state". Drawing on a variety of original sources, including many country house archives, Peter Mandler paints a picture of the high aristocracy at the peak of its wealth and power, and provides an original analysis of how their rejection of middle-class manners helped them to govern Britain in two troubled decades of social unrest.
Release date NZ
July 5th, 1990
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
2 figures
Clarendon Press
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