hist final nots

hist final nots - Brit Hist Final Notes 16/12/2007 17:40:00...

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Unformatted text preview: Brit Hist Final Notes 16/12/2007 17:40:00 ← The industrial revolution in Britain (1760s to1830s) went hand in hand with brutal repression and deeply reactionary politics, and from the moment of its birth the British proletariat was forced to try to organise itself under the direct threat of imprisonment, transportation or hanging; or more simply a volley of shots and a cavalry charge. As pioneers of the world proletariat, British workers struggled alone for the most elementary rights against both starvation and the concerted violence of a fearful ruling class, which mobilised more troops to suppress its own insurrectionary workers than to fight Napoleon. ← The French bourgeois revolution was a turning point for both classes. Initially some radical fractions of the British bourgeoisie were enthusiastic, but sympathy was deepest among the workers, who showed enormous popular support for the republican politics of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man and engaged in strikes and riots in support of France. Faced with such a mass radical movement, the bourgeoisie quickly gave way to panic, and Britain’s motives for going to war were explicitly counter-revolutionary: to eliminate the twin perceived dangers of revolution at home and abroad. Preparations against Napoleon’s armies were as much against the ‘enemy within’ as without, and even at the height of the invasion scare there was strong resistance to any arming of the seriously disaffected population. ← Deserted by the radical wing of the bourgeoisie, the working class organised its own reform movement inspired by the French Jacobins. Radical groups like the London Corresponding Society, which stood for universal suffrage and annual parliaments, were mainly composed of skilled artisans and small tradesmen rather than factory workers, but their agitation embraced social and economic issues and expressed a genuine internationalism in the British proletariat, for example explicitly linking the struggle for democracy with the cause of Irish and Polish national liberation. ← Government repression drove these working class Jacobins and trade unionists underground, where they were thrown into further disarray by the French revolution’s slide into terror. Some small minorities did become further radicalised, and there were shadowy preparations for an insurrection, but by drawing their inspiration from Jacobinism these minorities lacked a distinctly working class political programme, and their vision of revolution was restricted to that of a coup d’état supported by the ‘mob’. However, some working class that of a coup d’état supported by the ‘mob’....
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2008 for the course HIST 1025 taught by Professor Funk,merle during the Fall '07 term at Colorado.

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hist final nots - Brit Hist Final Notes 16/12/2007 17:40:00...

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