Cover image for Aristocratic government in the Age of Reform : Whigs and Liberals, 1830-1852
Aristocratic government in the Age of Reform : Whigs and Liberals, 1830-1852
Mandler, Peter.
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Publication Information:
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
p. cm.


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Book BILKUTUP0079974 DA550 .M34 1990 Central Campus Library

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This book challenges the view that there was a smooth and inevitable progression towards liberalism in early nineteenth-century England. It examines the argument used by the high Whigs that the landed aristocracy still had a positive contribution to make to the welfare of the people. Thisargument came under scrutiny as the laissez-faire state met with serious criticism in the 1830s and 1840s, when the majority of people proved unwilling to accept the `compromise' forged between the middle classes and other sections of the landed elite, and mass movements for political and socialreform proliferated. The Whigs' readiness to embrace these pressures kept them in power for sixteen of the twenty-two years between 1830 and 1852, and allowed them to serve as the midwives of the `Victorian origins of the welfare state'.Drawing on a rich variety of original sources, including many country house archives, Peter Mandler paints a vivid composite picture of the high aristocracy at the peak of its wealth and power, and provides a provocative and original analysis of how their rejection of middle-class manners helpedthem to govern Britain in two troubled decades of social unrest.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Whiggism and the age of reform
Whiggism and Liberalism, 1780-1850
Aristocratic styles in the age of reform: I. Whigs
Aristocratic styles in the age of reform: II. Liberals and Moderates
Part two: Aristocratic government in the age of reform: Coalition government, 1830-1834
Whig government, 1835-1841
Whig opposition, 1841-1846
The last Whig government, 1846-1852
Epilogue and conclusion: Whiggery in an age of Liberalism