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Revolutions. Children of the Revolution Second half of the eighteenth century can be said to be start of the Modern Age. Great changes in politics, economics.

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Presentation on theme: "Revolutions. Children of the Revolution Second half of the eighteenth century can be said to be start of the Modern Age. Great changes in politics, economics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Revolutions

2 Children of the Revolution Second half of the eighteenth century can be said to be start of the Modern Age. Great changes in politics, economics and society. Many of these changes caused by revolutions: the Industrial, the French and the American. What do we mean by revolution exactly? Can distinguish between two types: – A full circle = the American. – A half circle= the Industrial and French. Britain`s heyday was overseen by four, largely inept monarchs.

3 The Four Georges George I: (1714-1727) – Elector of Hanover. Didn’t like England. Spoke no English. Only tolerated because he was Protestant. Spent much of his time in Hanover and buried there. George II (1727-1760) – More intersted in Britain and politics than his father had been. During his reign Britain became a world class power. A good soldier and the last Britisdh king to lead his troops intop battle at Dettingen (1743) As wizth all Hanoverian kings, George hated his son who was to become George III on his father’s death George III (1760-1820) – British born and bred and very proud of the fact. Blamed for losing American colonies and trying to tamper with the British Constitution. Became very unpopular after the loss of America but when his madness set in there was much sympathy for him. His son ruled as Prince Regent from 1810 to 1820 and ultimately became George IV. George IV (1820-1830) – Fat, vain and lazy. Married catholic widow, Mrs Fitzherbet and then lied about doing so. Spent lots of money while the country was going through it’s first period of industrial hardship in its history

4 George I George II George IIIGeorge IV

5 Fighting the French The 18th Century was full of wars, when Britian was involved it was invariably against the French War of Spanish Succession 1701-1714 – On the surface a war about who was going to be King of Spőain but in reality it was an attempt to mstop the increasing power of the French King. Marlaboriugh won victories at Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenard and Malplaquet. Britian gained bases at Gibraltar and Minorca, plus most of North America. War of Captain Jenkins’ Ear 1739 – On the surface a war about whether the Spanish had the right to cut off an English Captain’s ear. In reality a war about whether Britain should be allowed to muscle in on Spain’s monopoly of South American trade. War of the Austrian Succession 1740-1748 – On the surface a war about who should be emperor/Empress of Austria but really about curbing the French King’s power. George II defeated French at Dettingen. Battle of Culloden, British defeated at Fontenoy. No decisive winner between the old enemies Seven Year’s War 1756-1763 – On the surface a war instiageted by the Germans invading Poland. Realy about worl domination (by the English/French). British ended up fighting the French throughout the world and by the war’s end, Britian had Quebec, and had driven the French out of India, had won the battle of Minden and destroyed the French fleet at Quiberon bay. A great success for the British. In hindsight, however, it heralded the so-called American revolution

6 The British Civil War (a.k.a. the American War of Independence) Not between Americans and British. 13 colonies saw themselves as extensions of England. Many unhappy at going to war against fellow Englishmen. So why did they do it? Main cause of the American War was taxation: – End of Seven Years War, 1763 – Great victory for the British: Had beaten the French on three continents and controlled most of India and North America. – But all this had to be paid for, columnists needed to contribute. – Introduction of the Sugar Tax 1764, stamp tax 1765, and, in 1767, many commodities were taxed including paper, glass, paint and tea. – These taxes led to the cry ”No taxation without representation”. By 1770 all taxes had been repealed except the one on tea. This resulted in a number of incidents, then in 1773, the `Boston Tea Party` occurred. Initially, other colonies felt the Bostonians had gone too far. However, then the British overreacted by closing the harbour and imposing direct rule on Massachusetts. This worried other columnists, so they stood by Boston. Ultimately, this led to the Battle of Lexington which signalled the start of the war,


8 After Lexington the American set up the Continental Army under Washington in Philadelphia. Tom Paine`s `Common Sense` inspired the revolutionaries. Declaration of Independence, 4 th July 1776. Declaring independence versus winning independence. Foregone Conclusion? British had the overwhelming advantage in that the Americans had no professional army, no navy and no allies. Commander-in-chief, George Washington had never held a rank higher than a junior one in the Virginia militia. Also, the 13 colonies had a record of not being able to work together. The British had a large and professional army. They had just won the Seven Years’ War. Course of the War 1776 British take New York. 1777 British surrender at Saratoga 1778 French join the war 1779 British takes Savannah 1780 British land in the south and take Charleston. 1781 Cornwallis surrenders. America had won the war. Terrible blow to the British government. Lord North lost vote of no-confidence. George III drafted a letter of abdication.

9 The French Revolution Louis XVI delighted that French backing had been the decisive factor in bringing about this Republican revolution. Little did he know that six years later French revolutionaries, partly inspired by the success of the Americans would overthrow the Ancien Regime. All began with the Storming of the Bastille 1789 – France`s Boston Tea Party. The Rights of Man Constitutional monarchy established. 1792 Republic declared. French Revolution had a profound effect on Britain. Three phases to the Revolution 1.The risings 1789 to 1791 2.Republic and terror 1792 to 1794 3.War 1794 to 1799 British Attitude At first the British liked what they heard from France. Charles James Fox the leader of the Whigs described it as the greatest event in history. Edmund Burke disagreed, in his book `Reflections on the Revolution in France`. He was soon proved right, there was: – wholesale murder in Paris. – the French invaded Belgium. – the French executed king Louis XIV. – the Edict of Fraternity was issued.

10 Britain and France at War 1793 French declared war on Britain British and British government led by William Pitt the younger, the wigs by Charles James Fox. Fox outraged, believed the war was an ideological one rather than one waged against a specific threat but as soon as the war and the French grew stronger more people came round to supporting it. British landings in France a failure - `The Grand Old Duke of York`. Naval blockade more fruitful. France ruled the land, Britain the sea. War was a hard slog. Curtailing Free Speech Pitt worried as much about enemies at home as abroad. Restricted freedom of speech, treasonous offence to call for changes to political system i.e. Tom Paine. The Combination Laws: Made trade unions illegal. Admiral Nelson offered hope and glamour to an otherwise bleak time.


12 The British milked the Nelson story for all it was worth, first media hero. A fine commander, but also very lucky. However, not a good role model, frequently disobeyed orders and often neglected his duty to spend time with his mistress. The fact that he kept winning softened the attitude of the King. 1798, the Battle of the Nile: Nelson destroyed the entire French fleet in Abukir Bay. 1801, Nelson destroyed the whole Danish fleet in Copenhagen harbour when it looked like they were going to enter the war. Britain and France signed a truce in 1802. Lasted only until 1804, and this time Napoleon intended to invade Britain. Nelson's job was to stop them. In 1805 Nelson met the combined French and Spanish fleets of Cape Trafalgar. The British destroyed or captured almost all of their ships. But Nelson was killed. Napoleon`s naval power had been destroyed, but the British were so upset by Nelson's death that they hardly took this victory in. Napoleon now moved to Plan B, he blockaded nearly every European port to British trade and tried to slowly starve her into submission. Blockade failed as Europe needed British manufacturing badly..

13 The Peninsular War Britain's chance to defeat Napoleon came in 1807 with a revolt against French rule in Spain and Portugal. London sent Sir Arthur Wellesley, with a large army to Portugal. The war dragged on from 1808 and 1814. "Spanish Ulcer" Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812. Battle of Waterloo Napoleon, never recovered from his retreat from Moscow, forced to abdicate and sent to the island of Elba. Escaped and attacked the British and Belgian army commanded by the Duke of Wellington, near the small village of Waterloo. One of the bloodiest battles of the war. British nearly lost, but Prussian allies arrived in the nick of time and the French fled. British obsessed with Waterloo.

14 Soldiers who had fought at Waterloo came home to a country that seemed about to stage a revolution of its own. Industry growing, skilled craftsmen thrown out of work, government had to use more troops than Wellington had with him in Spain. Factories meant long working hours, low wages and the system cared not whether its workers lived or died. Combination Laws did not help. This was the time of the Regency, with the Regent, a fat, lazy and utterly self-obsessed man who spent a fortune on eating and drinking himself senseless each night. Stark contrast with the majority. Corn laws. An attempt to keep foreign corn out of the country to help the farmers, unfortunately, this meant that those who speculated in corn could keep the price high. Expensive corn equals hungry people, hungry people could equal revolution. Hamden Clubs set up for workers to discuss reform, and the government used the clubs as an excuse to suspend habeas corpus and clamp down on public meetings. A British Revolution?

15 - Spa Fields Meeting, 1816: big public reform meeting became a riot in the crowd raided a gunsmiths shop. The government feared this event could have been Britain storming of the Bastille. - March of the Blanketeers, 1817. - Penrich Rising, 1817. - Peterloo and the Six Acts, 1819. Huge meeting in Manchester to demand reform must calorie sent in over 400 wounded and 11 killed. One of those killed had been fighting for his country at Waterloo only four years earlier, hence the name. - Government responded to Peterloo by introducing six laws to reduce free speech, restrict public meetings, make newspapers more expensive, and give the authorities greater powers to search private homes. - Cato Street Conspiracy, 1820: a plot to kill all the members of the Cabinet, foiled because one of the plotters was a government agent. What the Protesters Wanted. Things like better wages at least some safety at work etc.; however, the main thing they were calling for is what is known as Parliamentary reform. Not only did they want the vote: they wanted the whole Parliamentary system reformed. For example, the abolition of rotten boroughs, uniformity of voting entitlement, introduction of a secret ballot, the abolition of pocket boroughs. Some historians say the old system was not that bad. Some great statesmen like William Pitt and Robert Peel came up through the old, unreformed system, not all patrons tried to dictate what their MP said and did and it was possible for an able young man without much money to get into Parliament with the help of a patron.


17 The Great Reform Act. At first anyone calling for reform got locked up. But by 1830, the only two people opposed to reform were King George IV, who died and the Duke of Wellington, the prime minister, who was forced from office. After an epic battle, 1832 saw the passing of the reform Bill which became known as the Great Reform Act. This act modernised the Parliamentary system. The reform act wasn't particularly revolutionary. It Standardised and helped geographically balance the voting system but didn't give the vote to working people. The most who gained were the middle classes who could now become a political force. Although not revolutionary, the act did change the system and broke the power of the old landowners. Earl Grey was the man who got the reform Bill through Parliament and in his way, he was every bit as important as Nelson as he saved Britain from violent revolution.

18 Industrial Revolution (Part 1) Britain can be said to have created the modern world in all its glory and splendour and misery and squalor and vice. Wealth beyond dreams and poverty beyond nightmares. The industrial revolution created Britain and transformed a people. In the end Kings and the like don’t matter much. Things like food and clothing do. Britain became the first superpower in the world by trying to get a bit more food on the market. English were lucky compared to other countries (Scottish/Irish), not tied to the land. Also English nobles actually took an interest in farming. Contrast Marie Antoinettes model village at Versailles with George III’s experimental farm at Windsor. It all began with an agricultural revolution Agricultural innovation 1: English farmers no longer left fields fallow rather they practised crop rotation using the turnip. Viscount Townshend popularised crop rotation. Also a new machine for planting seeds, Jethro Tull. Agricultural innovation 2: Selective Breeding used in creating larger sheep (New Leicesters), shire horses (could pul lmore), pigs and cows (more leat,milk etc.) Agricultural innovation 3: Enclosure Act. Creation of bigger farms meant more efficiency. However, enclosures act resulted in the powerful robbing the poor (in Scotland land clearance particularly bad), yet the industrial revolution could never have happened withoutthis Act. Balancing the individual against the common good.


20 Industrial Revolution (Part 2) English Roads: So bad in the eighteenth centurythat impossible to get anywhere. The good roads were turnpike roads (i.e. had to pay a toll). Roads improved with the invention of tarmacadam. Canals and aqueducts: Duke of Bridgewater had a lot of coal on his estate but couldn’t trransport it by road so built a canal from Worsley to Manchester, wanted to join it up to other canals thus creating a network. Problems arose when canal had to cross a river, so the Duke invented the aqueduct. Revolutionising the cloth trade: Looms in every house in the eighteenth century. A cottage industry. Extra income for the family and good quality cloth. But all this was to change. (wool made Britain rich - paid for churches, created a business class, the chancellor of England took his seat in the House of Commons on a Woolsack) – THE SPINNING JENNY AND OTHER MACHINES: Flying shuttle, Spinning Jenny, Arkwright’s Water Frame and Factories. – More Speed: The Mule and steam The utilisation of steam meant that factories could now be built anywhere and towns would spring up around them. Steam meant that work could go on 24 hours a day, shift working was created along with factory hooters and the like. The factory began to regulate people’s lives in much the same way as the Church had in Medieval times. Not everybody happy with the new innovations. Factories attacked, machines destroyed. Luddites best known of the anti-machine groups.


22 Industrial Revolution (Part 3) Life was hard in the factories. Owners controlled lives of their workers. He built the workers houses, provided the workers with a factory shop. Children worked in the factories, no trade unions, no strikes. Wages were tiny, no sewers, no running water – a recipe for disaster. Not all factory owners were ruthless capitalists e.g. Robert Owen at New Lanark James Watt and the steam Engine. He did not invent it merely improved greatly on what had gone before, primarily by employing a condenser. Steam engines became more efficient, faster, more relíable and more economical. The steam engine created a demand for coal which created a new deep-shaft mining industry, it created a demand for iron thus stimulatung that industry. Eventually Watts engine became strong enough to drive heavy vehicles and so began the Age of Steam. Locomotion: ‘Puffing Billy’ – William Hedley. George Stephenson – ‘Stephenson’s Rocket’ The Rise of Iron: Huge growth in demand for Iron. Huge advances in Iron production. Smelting on a charcoal fire waqs the norm until the Darby family came along. Ironbridge over the River Severn is testament to their work. Industrial revolution not all dirt and grime also a period of beauty e.g. Fine cutlery, pottery towns (Wedgewood)


24 Why Britain? Obviously the term ‘industrial revolution’ was coined after the fact, yet people must have realised that things were changing quickly. Parts of the country were getting rich, artists were exploring the themes of progress and industrialisation. But why England? – An island – Rivers/Ports and canals – Raw materials – ‘Have a go’ attitude of lords and nobles

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