A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People?: England 1783-1846

Paperback | August 1, 2008

byBoyd Hilton

not yet rated|write a review
This was a transformative period in English history. In 1783 the country was at one of the lowest points in its fortunes, having just lost its American colonies in warfare. By 1846 it was once more a great imperial nation, as well as the world's strongest power and dominant economy, havingbenefited from what has sometimes (if misleadingly) been called the 'first industrial revolution'. In the meantime it survived a decade of invasion fears, and emerged victorious from more than twenty years of 'war to the death' against Napoleonic France. But if Britain's external fortunes were inthe ascendant, the situation at home remained fraught with peril. The country's population was growing at a rate not experienced by any comparable former society, and its manufacturing towns especially were mushrooming into filthy, disease-ridden, gin-sodden hell-holes, in turn provoking thephantasmagoria of a mad, bad, and dangerous people. It is no wonder that these years should have experienced the most prolonged period of social unrest since the seventeenth century, or that the elite should have been in constant fear of a French-style revolution in England. The governing classes responded to these new challenges and by the mid-nineteenth century the seeds of a settled two-party system and of a more socially interventionist state were both in evidence, though it would have been far too soon to say at that stage whether those seeds would take permanentroot. Another consequence of these tensions was the intellectual engagement with society, as for example in the Romantic Movement, a literary phenomenon that brought English culture to the forefront of European attention for the first time. At the same time the country experienced the greatreligious revival, loosely described under the heading 'evangelicalism'. Slowly but surely, the raffish and rakish style of eighteenth-century society, having reached a peak in the Regency, then succumbed to the new norms of respectability popularly known as 'Victorianism'.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$52.50

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

This was a transformative period in English history. In 1783 the country was at one of the lowest points in its fortunes, having just lost its American colonies in warfare. By 1846 it was once more a great imperial nation, as well as the world's strongest power and dominant economy, havingbenefited from what has sometimes (if misleadin...

Boyd Hilton is Professor of Modern British History in the University of Cambridge and has been a Fellow of Trinity College since 1974. He has served as Senior Tutor, Dean, and Steward of the College. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy.

other books by Boyd Hilton

Format:PaperbackDimensions:784 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.51 inPublished:August 1, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199218919

ISBN - 13:9780199218912

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People?: England 1783-1846

Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. England 1783-1846: An Overview2. Politics in the Time of Pitt and Fox 1783-18073. Pitt and Plutocracy: The Social and Psychological Foundations4. Politics in the Time of Liverpool and Canning 1807-18275. Ruling Ideologies6. The Crisis of the Old Order 1827-18327. Contesting Mechanical Philosophy8. Politics in the Time of Melbourne and Peel 1833-18469. The Condition and Reconditioning of England10. Afterwards: 'There are no barbarians any longer.'BibliographyIndex1. England 1783-1846: An Overview2. Politics in the Time of Pitt and Fox 1783-18073. Pitt and Plutocracy: The Social and Psychological Foundations4. Politics in the Time of Liverpool and Canning 1807-18275. Ruling Ideologies6. The Crisis of the Old Order 1827-18327. Contesting Mechanical Philosophy8. Politics in the Time of Melbourne and Peel 1833-18469. The Condition and Reconditioning of England10. Afterwards: 'There are no barbarians any longer.'BibliographyIndex1. England 1783-1846: An Overview2. Politics in the Time of Pitt and Fox 1783-18073. Pitt and Plutocracy: The Social and Psychological Foundations4. Politics in the Time of Liverpool and Canning 1807-18275. Ruling Ideologies6. The Crisis of the Old Order 1827-18327. Contesting Mechanical Philosophy8. Politics in the Time of Melbourne and Peel 1833-18469. The Condition and Reconditioning of England10. Afterwards: 'There are no barbarians any longer.'BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`A model of the historian's art and a trailblazing marriage of intellectual and political history'Atlantic Monthly