Democracy and Religion: Gladstone and the Liberal Party 1867-1875

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 2, 1989 - History - 520 pages
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This book relates the political history of mid-nineteenth-century Britain to the assumptions which then prevailed about the abstract moral purposes of political activity. A great number of mid-Victorian writers and politicians expressed far-reaching hopes for the future development of British society, indeed for its regeneration; and such hopes were inspired by their religious outlook. They contended that these aims would be promoted by the pursuit, by governments, of particular educational, ecclesiastical, Irish and other policies. Part I of this book examines at length the varying aspirations, in this direction, of the different elements of Gladstone's Liberal party. In addition to Gladstone's own views, those of whigs, broad churchmen, theist intellectuals, high churchmen's interests are all analysed, in an account which ranges far beyond the time limits suggested by the book's title. Part II recounts the disputes within the party which these conflicting aims provoked between 1867 and 1875. These years were marked by the rise and fall of Gladstone's first and most active government, by the disestablishment of Irish Church in 1869 and the passage of the 1870 Elementary Education Act. In addition, politicians were introduced to a long series of broader and more intangible problems with connotations for religious and political stability - including those thrown up by the 1867 Reform Act, the Vatican Council, the Franco-Prussian war, the progress of the free-thinking movement, the rise of the home rule party in Ireland, and the growth of ritualism within the Church of England. Dr Parry shows how the attempt to tackle these issues slowly paralysed the effectiveness of Gladstone's government, leading to its fall in 1874, and to a crisis about the identity of British Liberalism which was never subsequently resolved. A long introduction and conclusion reassess the history of the Liberal party between 1832 and 1886, in the light of the book's findings. Dr Parry's work offers a radically new synthesis of political, intellectual and ecclesiastical history. It challenges the view that nineteenth-century politics can be understood properly if it is treated in primarily secular terms.
 

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Contents

List of tables
ix
Acknowledgments
x
Note on text index and footnotes
xii
Introduction
1
THE WHIGLIBERALS I
57
Church and slate
80
The Church of Scotland
102
THE WHIGLIBERALS II
105
THE RADICALS
199
Nonconformists
200
The radical MPs
229
Workingmen
232
Morley Harrison and positivism
239
Academic liberals
249
SEARCHING FOR UNITY THE IRISH CHURCH QUESTION 18679
261
A fragile unity restored 1868
267

Social reform
112
The party system
116
Protestantism and foreign policy
121
Catholicism
125
Ireland
128
Perceptions of the Conservatives
137
Perceptions of Gladstone
140
Whigliberals in parliament
144
GLADSTONE HIGH CHURCHMEN AND LIBERAL CATHOLICS
150
the highchurch mission
151
Church and state
153
education
164
Gladstone and Liberal politics
167
foreign policy
174
Ireland
176
Liberal high churchmen
181
Liberal Catholics and Irish home rulers
193
the Irish Church Act 1869
280
EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT AND IRELAND 186971
289
The crisis over English and Irish education in the 1870 session
295
The arousal of provincial Liberalism 18701
306
First intimations of mortality late 1871
321
THE RELIGIOUS PROBLEM INTENSIFIED 18723
333
The Scottish Education Act
339
Ireland in the 1872 session
343
The framing introduction and defeat of the Irish University Bill 18723
353
THE FALL OF THE GOVERNMENT 18734
369
The 1874 election
381
DISUNITY EXPLICIT 18745
411
Vaticanism and Gladstones resignation 18745
421
Conclusion
429
Bibliography
453
Index
493
Copyright

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