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HIS349 Lecture 1.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Sarah Amato

Lecture 1 – Sept 13 Frameworks - 19th Century Britain KEYWORDS -United Kingdom, Act of Union 1801 -England -Wales (1535, 1543) -Scotland (1707) -Ireland (1800) -Parliamentary System -Class System -Peers/Gentry, Middle Class, Working Class -2nd Wave Empire (1870+) -Workshop of the World -Great Exhibition of Art and Industry of All Nations (1851) or Crystal Palace Exhibition "Land of yobs and morons? Britain's search for a motto sheds light on the national mood" Globe and Mail, 12 Nov, 2007 1. Pride in democratic identity and political institutions 2. Uncertainty regarding Britain's position vis-a-vis America and Europe 3. Nostalgia for Empire 4. Anti-immigrant and/or anti-devolution 5. Humour about culture of drinking and weird politeness Union of the UK UK population in 1801: 15,972, 000 -England led UK culture, population, was the epicentre in 1801, economically dominates rest of the union -economic and political pre-eminence of London -sense that all of UK should follow England 1535 and 1543 - Wars of England and Wales, union of Wales with England -Welsh maintained distinct identity from the British; exemplified by Welsh language itself, which remains strong -fairly strong ties to England, nonetheless; Welsh are religiously similar, protestant; Wales is coal-producing, strong affinities between Welsh and British coal workers, develop unions and strong ties later in the 19th century; solidifies importance of Wales to England, bond between English and Welsh working classes -Scotland joins England and Wales in 1707, remains distinct in a few ways: legal system, educational system, religion (dominance of Presbyterianism in Scotland), tremendous resistance, particularly in the highlands, of joining with England; series of wars in the 1700s in which this resistance is quashed; affinities also involving coal mines -Ireland is different; incorporation of Ireland in 1800; Irish discontent, fear of fifth column element amongst Irish in their alliance with Catholic France spurred union with the rest of Britain; need formal strong tie between England in particular with Ireland - union is unhappy from the beginning due to tremendous differences in wealth, distributions of wealth in Ireland, i.e. landowners are mainly Anglican, strongly identify with Britain, but also entire peasant class who are Catholic -1801 formation of UK in the midst of Napoleonic war; after 1815, Britain emerges out of wars with revolutionary France quite unscathed -Britain economically in debt, lots of restructuring, but Britain has class structure and government structure still in tact, which was quite remarkable for what occurred and what would be occurring in the future - Britain remains relatively stable throughout 19th century, which is an anomaly British Parliamentary System Composed of three components: monarchy, house of commons, house of lords -Britain does not have a written constitution - instead Britain has a system governed by precedence, but no formal written documents -law governed by precedence -government composed of three parts, evolving into a constitutional monarchy/crown monarchy -role of monarchy is evolving in the 19th century; monarch King George III (1760-1820) followed by Victoria in 1837 - monarchy had political power, but very little Monarchy -George III has power to dismiss his prime minister over policy he does not agree with, in 1801 - the monarch no longer has this power today -by Victoria's time, the monarchy is increasingly ceremonial; of particular importance of her monarchy, her role becomes largely symbolic - a point or symbol of national monarchy -monarchy to this day plays a role in the government - QEII opens parliament, officially appoints the elected PM, dismisses parliament before a general election, gives royal assent to all bills approved by the house of commons and house of lords before they become law, and this process is key -in the time of Victoria, the monarch has weekly meetings of affairs of state with the PM - she is fairly active in government -certain role for the monarch to have influence, historical insight into these meetings and their contents Parliament -houses of parliament are composed of two bodies: house of lords and house of commons -19th century; house of lords arguably is the most important - Members of parliament MPs are elected, but not by anything near universal suffrage -before 1832, only 2.6% of the population has the right to vote, and this is only men; had to do with ownership of property - must be landowner -MPs were from the elite sections of society; aristocrats, to be an MP in this period is not a salaried position, no payment for your service -had to have an independent source of income to be an MP - motivation to be a member was a form of duty, sense of patronage to the lower classes, and prestige, but not payment -House of Lords is not elected; consists, in the 19th century, of hereditary piers (inherit their seat, men only), and second section, archbishops and bishops of the Church of England (established church has a presence in the House of Lords) -House of Lords has two primary purposes in the 19th century - to pass legislation (investigate interesting questions) and also have the power to veto a bill which has come through the House of Commons - if they judge a bill is not in the interest of the nation, they may veto it - and also, not in the interest of the aristocratic structure, they may also veto -up until 2009, the House of Lord
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