Category Archives: Urbanisation

Other suppliers of leisure

There was much self-made leisure, whether communal or associational on the one hand or personal and family based on the other.  In its communal or associational forms it was a major means of supply of leisure for the middle-class urban … Continue reading

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Holidays, pubs and popular culture

The seaside holiday may be a dubious contender for inclusion in urban popular culture for it represented escape from the city.  But the manner of that escape suggests that urban popular culture was transposed to the coast.  The history of … Continue reading

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Developing urban popular culture

Urban popular culture in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries developed three important dimensions. First, it was a mass culture that permeated across communities. There were activities that people paid to attend as spectators, audience or readers. This included theatres, circuses … Continue reading

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Why was the state of working-class religion a problem in the mid-nineteenth century?

In his report on the 1851 Religious Census, Horace Mann noted: …a sadly formidable proportion of the English people are habitual neglecters of the public ordinances of religion. [1] There is significant disagreement among historians about the role and importance … Continue reading

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Education, Crime and Leisure

The third volume of the Nineteenth Century British Society series has now been published on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Education-Leisure-Nineteenth-Century-ebook/dp/B005UDIZXQ/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1   The book addresses the problems posed by education, crime and leisure to society and the ways in which the state sought to … Continue reading

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Posted in Books, Crime and Punishment, Health and Housing, Leisure and Recreation, Nineteenth century society, Urbanisation | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Interpreting urban growth

Transport played an essential role in the development of bigger, functionally more specialised towns from 1830. It was only with the coming of railways and the establishment of a national rail network in the 1840s that a fully integrated urban … Continue reading

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Planning towns

The distinctive tradition of English town planning was not extinguished by industrialisation but it was repressed. When the term ‘town planning’ gained currency in the early part of this century, it emerged as a result of debates in Germany and … Continue reading

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Suburbanisation

Suburban growth is one of the great features of the nineteenth century.[1] It is possible to identify three phases of suburban growth in this period. First, in the first half of the century improved road communication, by private carriage or … Continue reading

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Nineteenth century seaside towns

New urban developments in the nineteenth century were, in part, the result of expansive capitalism. It is natural that they should excite polemicists. Did they favour some social groups more than others? This needs to be considered against the background … Continue reading

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Great cities and manufacturing towns

Friedrich Engels[1] wrote at the beginning of the chapter on ‘The Great Towns’ in his The Condition of the Working-class in England that What is true of London, is true of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, is true of all great towns. … Continue reading

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London

Notions of the ‘country’ and the ‘town’ have always roused strong feelings and evoked powerful images. They have also created fundamental opposites. The ‘country’ was seen either as a natural way of life, of peace, innocence and simple virtue or … Continue reading

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Urban growth: Disease in the Victorian city

  It was unhealthy to live in Victorian cities, though chances of illness and premature death varied considerably depending on who you were, where you lived, how much you earned and how well you were fed. Social class mattered. Not … Continue reading

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Urban growth: Governing towns

  History, as A.J.P. Taylor reminded us, gets ‘thicker’ as it approaches modern times[1]:‘There are more people, more events, and more is written about them.’  Social history gets particularly ‘thick’ because more attention is paid to the lives of ordinary … Continue reading

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Urban growth: Suburbanisation

  In 1902, H. G. Wells in his Anticipations of the Reactions of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought wrote, ‘Already for a great number of businesses it is no longer necessary that the office should be … Continue reading

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Urban growth: New towns

  New urban developments in the nineteenth century were, in part, the result of expansive capitalism. It is natural that they should excite polemicists. Did they favour some social groups more than others? This needs to be considered against the … Continue reading

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