Socialism, Radicalism, and Nostalgia: Social Criticism in Britain, 1775-1830

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 24, 1987 - History - 304 pages
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The years of the first industrial revolution saw a remarkable flowering of radical social criticism in Britain. This is a study of the ideas that emerged then and of the social and intellectual conditions from which they developed. Dr Stafford begins in Part I by presenting what will be seen as a very valuable general account of the historical and cultural setting, showing how the language of social debate had been affected by intellectual developments and the increasingly rapid transformations of society. Then in Part II he discusses ten major critics of British society, from Thomas Spence to William Cobbett, who represent a wide range of political opinion from anarchism to Tory radicalism. Dr. Stafford takes a key text by each author, sets out its argument, and analyzes it both critically and historically, showing the particular influences that shaped it and revealing the ways in which the social thought of the time resembles or diverges from our own. This book will help to recover from unwarranted neglect this important tradition of writing that did much to form subsequent thinking about society. It will make a valuable contribution to the study of the literature and the social and intellectual history of the period.
 

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Contents

General context
11
Mental furniture
31
The Real Rights of Man Thomas Spence 1775
101
An Essay on the Right of Property in Land William Ogilvie 1782
107
Enquiry concerning Political Justice and Its Influence on Morals and Happiness William Godwin 1798
121
The Effects of Civilization on the People in European States Charles Hall 1805
146
A Lay Sermon Addressed to the Higher and Middle Classes on the Existing Distresses and Discontents Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1817
164
Report to the County of Lanark Robert Owen 1821
181
A Few Doubts as to the Correctness of Some Opinions Generally Entertained on the Subjects of Population and Political Economy Piercy Ravenstone...
195
An Inquiry into the Principles of the Distribution of Wealth Most Conducive to Human Happiness Applied to the Newly Proposed System of Volunta...
214
Labour Defended against the Claims of Capital or the Unproductiveness of Capital Proved with Reference to the Present Combinations amongst Journ...
232
Rural Rides William Cobbett 1830
250
Conclusion
270
Notes
275
Index
299
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About the author (1987)

William Stafford (1914-1993) was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1914. During the Second World War, as a conscientious objector, he was interned in former Civilian Public Service camps, an experience he described in Down in My Heart. Stafford published over sixty books of poetry and prose, including Traveling through the Dark, which won the National Book Award. He served as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, and taught at Lewis & Clark College for over thirty years. He died at his home in Lake Oswego, Oregon, on August 28, 1993.

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