The City of Today Glorious, glorious England. As the Empire spreads some say “so does its glory”; others mumble of the price which we pay for our greatness. Many of us Londoners have read, if not discussed, the intriguing debate transpiring between Sir Andrew Ure and Sir James Phillips Kay. Are the cities of great England truly representative of the jewels in Her Majesty’s Crown? Or are they the stain of exploitation and abuse that some have proclaimed? Sir James Phillips Kay, an M.D. at Edinburgh and the Secretary to the Manchester Board of Health, has recently published a work titled, “The Moral And Physical Conditions of the Working-Class Employed in Cotton Manufacturing in Manchester.” (Kay/Ure Debate, Handout) He argues quite persuasively about those poor wretches living in the most hideous of conditions. Half the blame he attributes to the Irish and the other half to the environment of an industrialised city.
The Irish immigrants have brought to Manchester a system called “cottier farming”. Sir James argues that this system is responsible for the”demoralisation and barbarism” of the working-class. If that is not bad enough, the potato has been introduced as a main article of food. Influenced by the Irish subsistence living, the working-class are abandoning those values which promote increasing comfort. They seemingly have given up the hope of betterment and adopted hopelessness.
Sir James does well in his description of the living conditions of the working class is living in. The mere thought of such suffering and misery is shocking to the soul. The problem Kay argues, is caused by combinations of poor living and working conditions, lack of education, influence by a lesser culture and the presence of great immorality. This recently published work is a plea to the Capitalist, to convince him to concern himself with his (“The City” continued) Vol.2 Page 2 workers. Andrew Mearns, another prominent fellow on these matters goes into even greater detail in his work, “The Bitter Cry of Outcast London”.
Making a study of our city, he has reported, with astonishing detail, that the filth present in Manchester can be found in this city! Mr. Mearns makes his argument to the church in his call to unite and fight this growing misery together. He cites examples of immorality, poverty and heart-breaking misery. His call also addresses the need for the state to intervene on the behalf of the organisations trying to elevate the working-classes’ misery. What can be done for the motherless children, diseased and ailing siblings and the poor forced into thievery for filthy lucre? Nothing! Yes, that is correct.
We are to do nothing. Sir Andrew Ure, an M.D., who teaches in the university at Glasgow is a proponent of this controversial mind set. Traveling to these various”terrible” places, Sir Andrew came to a completely different conclusion. First, the workers suffering is being greatly exaggerated. Upon visiting these “horror zones” (factories), both on announced and unannounced visits, no such extremes were found. Instead of the finding the bleak picture Sir James and Mr.
Mearns painted, Ure found something quite the opposite. Children play outside in playgrounds during their breaks, and factories provide a safe haven for the children from the ill-use of their bad parents. Second, the terrible food situation is an exaggeration as well. The amount of food given to the factory workers is sufficient. It is comparable, if not surpassing to that food consumed in the rural communities from where the working class came from. What is to be the conclusion of this bitter argument? one thing is certain, the Kay/Ure debate will continue with us as long as we have factories with a working class. This much can be assured.
19th Century Evangelical Christianity In England Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 Religion was an important facet of the British Victorian society. It molded public opinion, dictated morals and values, and created social divisions. The dominant religion of the middle-class during this time was Evangelical Christianity. This essay will discuss the relationship between Evangelicalism and the middle-class.
It will also argue how Evangelicalism affected the attitudes towards different races and the role of the British empire in the world. Evangelicalism was the strongest ideological influence present in the Victorian Age. This religious movement , a product of the Church of England, was mainly comprised of the middle-class bourgeoisie. In addition, the leadership of the Evangelical movement was greatly influential in politics. As high-ranking members of the Whig party, they played a crucial part in both policy making in the government and establishing the party’s power base.1 The most important leaders of the Evangelicals were the Clapham Sect.
They had two basic issues which acted as both a political platform and a social order. The first issue concerned the abolition of slavery and the slave trade in England. Many political battles were fought over the issue of slavery and its trade, but its abolition in the early 1800s was a great political and social victory for the Evangelicals.2 The second issue was its was the Evangelical transformation of national morality. Catharine Hall argued that in the Clapham sect the”concern was to redefine the available cultural norms and to encourage a new seriousness and respectability in life.”3 This issue was supported and propagated as if it were a political campaign. Pamphlets, the media and church sermons in church were used to spread this word.
The greatest influence of Evangelicalism was on the British society itself. It set standards for defining family and home-life. A crucial aspect of Evangelicalism was its definition of a woman’s role in society. They defined a women as a homemaker, a wife and a mother. Detailed instructions on how to become a good “mistress” were easily accessible.
An excellent example of this was the writings of Isabella Beeton. She went into detail about what attitudes and habits a mistress should have. Mrs. Beeton argued that “there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways.”4 The Evangelicals rejected the notion of equality between the sexes. This Evangelical belief stemmed from a fundamental difference in the position of men and women.
They were “naturally distinct”.5 Evangelical doctrine also argued that, although a woman should be educated, it is for the sole purpose of making her a better wife and mother.6 This idea of sexual equity and other radical ideas emerged from France even before the infamous Revolution t …