By Peter Mandler
Victorian Britain is frequently regarded as the excessive element of "laissez-faire," where and the time whilst humans have been so much "free" to make their very own lives with out the help or interference of the country. This booklet, via top historians of nineteenth-century country and society, asks to what quantity that was once precise and, to the level that it was once, the way it labored.
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Even the relatively activist Whig governments of the 1830s sought to promote an essentially negative sort of social fairness, distancing the State from social quarrels by paring down contentious political privileges, such as the Anglican monopoly on higher education and the payment of cess in Ireland. g. , Studies in the Growth of Nineteenth-Century Government (London, 1972), 63–81; Henry Roseveare, The Treasury: The Evolution of a British Institution (London, 1969), 68–70; J. M. Bourne, Patronage and Society in Nineteenth-Century England (London, 1986); Philip Harling, ‘The Politics of Administrative Change’, Jahrbuch für Europäische Verwaltungsgeschichte, 8 (1996), 191–212.
Alan Sheridan (New York, 1977). g. , The Emergence of the Welfare State in Britain and Germany (London, 1981), 9–31. ²⁵ Third, a crackdown on outdoor relief spearheaded by the new Local Government Board in the early 1870s led to a 30 per cent reduction in the number of paupers given outdoor relief. ²⁷ It is easy to fall into Dickensian hyperbole in cataloguing the miseries of the workhouse system. Workhouses were hardly Foucauldian ‘total institutions’ because local Boards of Guardians found it difﬁcult to ﬁnd and were usually unwilling to pay for a sufﬁcient number of competent workhouse ofﬁcers to keep the paupers under strict discipline.
D. , Rethinking the Age of Reform: Britain 1780–1850 (Oxford, 2003). ⁵¹ Nor was organized voluntary provision a particularly ‘middle-class’ tendency. Working-class hostility to an undemocratic State, as expressed for example through Chartism, was accompanied by a process of colonization of civil society: in E. P. Thompson’s famous words, ‘the workers, having failed to overthrow capitalist society, proceeded to warren it from end to end’. The result was ‘the characteristic class institutions of the Labour Movement .