The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

Archives for the ‘18th century’ Category

London Corresponding Society (L. C. S.)

Category: 18th century

In January 1792 the radical movement among the “low­er classes” produced its first organisation — the London Corresponding Society. Its main programme was manhood suffrage and equal representation, but in August a Public Address was issued which pointed out that an honest and genuinely representa­tive Parliament could remove the grievous oppressions of the common man: […]



Britain in the eighteenth century (summary)

Category: 18th century

Britain under George I actually had two decades of relative peace and stability. The most significant events of that period were the internal political affairs. In fact, throughout those years a smooth transition from limited monarchy to Parliamentary government took place in Great Britain. One of the important events of that time became the appointment […]



Reforms and Reformers

Category: 18th century

In the wake of the American war, many old insti­tutions were reexamined. The Economical Reform Act of 1782 reduced the patronage powers of the king and his ministers. The Irish Parliament, controlled by Anglo-Irish Protestants, won a greater degree of inde­pendence.



Consequences of the American Revolution

Category: 18th century

Long accustomed to a considerable degree of self-government and freed, after 1763, from the French danger, American colonists resented any attempts to make them pay a share of the cost of imperial defence in the form of assorted taxes and duties. They also resented British attempts to treat colonial legislatures as secondary to the government […]



The Early Years of King George III’s Reign

Category: 18th century

In 1760, the aged George II was succeeded by his grandson, George III. Unlike his predecessors, George III was more interested in English than German af­fairs. George tried to enter politics as an independent force. He did not attempt to free himself from the control of Parliament, as the time when that was pos­sible had […]



Child Labour

Category: 18th century

Most workers lived in desperate poverty, just bare­ly surviving on the wages they earned. In cities, they paid high prices for both food and housing.



The State of the Poor

Category: 18th century

If Britain’s economy was to continue to expand, the country would have to seek the markets abroad, while holding down living standards at home in order to keep production costs low. The duty of the poor was clear: it was not their business to spend more. They were just more. A detailed and properly documented […]



The Rise of the Middle Class

Category: 18th century

With the industrialization, the British middle class grew larger and more influential as the number of financiers, factory owners and capitalist farmers in­creased. The upper class still possessed the land and titles, but the industrial middle class had the money. During the whole of the 18th century, the landed aris­tocracy, which largely controlled Parliament, firm­ly […]



Population Growth

Category: 18th century

During the first half of the 18th century, the pop­ulation of Great Britain increased by less than 15 per­cent. Between 1751 and 1801, the year of the first of­ficial census, the number rose by two-thirds to 10.7 million. During the next fifty years, the population of the country doubled. The reasons include a decline of […]



The New Regime

Category: 18th century

William III had to do much to secure his hold, not only upon England but upon Scotland and Ireland. In 1689 James II landed in Ireland, where he had an army ready to hand, and was easily able to stir up a national rising of the native Catholics against the Protestant “garrison”. In July 1690 […]