By Betty Fladeland

ISBN-10: 1349069973

ISBN-13: 9781349069972

ISBN-10: 134906999X

ISBN-13: 9781349069996

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Additional info for Abolitionists and Working-Class Problems in the Age of Industrialization

Example text

97 In subsequent elections Roscoe rejected proposals from Westminster and Leicester as well as Liverpool that he should have another try. 98 Although officially out of politics, Roscoe continued his reform activities and especially his fight for peace. During the next two years he wrote several more antiwar pamphlets, including a fierce blast at the Government for its attack on Copenhagen. On one count Roscoe's liberalism was inconsistent, though, for, in his opposition to the British newspapers' attacks on France, he went so far as to advocate Government restraints on freedom of the press.

Meanwhile territories were changing hands and capital was being destroyed so the future held only ruinous prospects. 49 But in 1793 patriotism and anti-Jacobinism prevented Roscoe from winning allies among the merchants. Their change in attitude would come only as the war with France dragged on. Roscoe, Rathbone, Rushton and Currie all stood together against the Test and Corporation Acts, Pitt's suspension of habeas corpus, and the French war. While adamantly anti-Pitt on those issues, they were thankful for his co-operation with Wilberforce on the slave trade, and Currie decided to try to capitalize on the Wilberforce-Pitt friendship to approach the Prime Minister on the war question.

Rushton was perhaps the most extreme; he was an outright republican. 66 While Currie doubted that extending the franchise would bring about dramatic changes, he believed that Parliament must respond to the demand for wider suffrage. He said he would choose an unstable democracy over a 'close aristocracy' but insisted that extending the franchise must be accompanied by reform in the property laws to do any good. Otherwise landlords could dictate the votes of their tenants. Less radical on this issue than Rushton and Rathbone, he preferred household suffrage, and also approved a literacy test, that being consistent, of course, with his attempts to broaden educational opportunityY Rathbone, on the other hand, favoured universal suffrage (for males).

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Abolitionists and Working-Class Problems in the Age of Industrialization by Betty Fladeland

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