Word Count: 2572Glorious, 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

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

First, the workers suffering is being greatly exaggerated. Upon
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
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
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
This idea of sexual equity and other radical ideas emerged from
France even before the infamous Revolution took place. The ideology
coming from France both before and after the revolution was never
accepted in England. The English bourgeoisie used the evangelical ideas
to combat the foreign influence of the French
Another important sphere of influence to Evangelicalism was the
home. This arena was viewed as the building block of British society
and culture. If national morality was to be changed, and in some cases
created, then morality must be taught at home. The home “was one place
where attempts could be made to curb sin.”7
Evangelicalism was not merely a national fad. As the Clapham
Sect and other influential politicians began their campaign for the
abolition of slavery, the slave trade was also targeted. This created
the need for international intervention. It was not enough that slavery
was to cease being a legal commodity of labor, or to be viewed as
immoral.The entire industry of the slave trade was immoral. It was
seen as a infringement on the individuals natural rights. In the book,
White Dreams In Black Africa, the British empire began to target the
African tradesmen who sold the slaves for Christianization. The plan
was to export the greatest gift the English could give, thus creating a
moral society, educated, and most importantly, the elimination of the
slave trade. This gift was Evangelical Christianity.

Africa was not the only target for evangelism. The Irish, who
were predominantly catholic, united with England January 1, 1801. This
unification caused Irish culture to be spread abroad in the working
class of England. This spread of Irish influence was described by James
Phillips Kay as, “debased alike by ignorance and pauperism”.8 He blamed
the penetration of British culture by Irish values as the cause for the
debauchery and immorality in the working class. This posed as a
proverbial splinter in the lion’s paw for the evangelicals. This was
brought to the attention of the middle-class moralists, which tried even
harder to “persuade” their moral standards on the Irish.
This persuasion came about by the merging of the Church of
England with the Catholic Church of Ireland. The national church was
Anglican by denomination and protestant. Needless to say, the Irish
were not happy with the arrangements nor with the tithe that they were
required to pay.9
In conclusion, England during its Victorian Age was tremendously
influenced by religion. This influence dominated the society and
culture of Britain. Its effect can be traced from the home and family
life to the heirachy of the Parliament. The relationship between
Evangelicalism and the English middle-class was strong. It also affected
the Empire’s attitudes towards other races of people and defined some of
its foreign policy concerning the slave trade.

Ireland and England in the Active Union 1801-1920
January 1, 1801 Ireland joined with Britain in what is called
the Active Union. The Active Union was an attempt of both states to
integrate themselves on a political level. This union lasted
approximately 120 years and was wrought with constant turmoil. A common
term used by British Members of Parliament was the “Irish question”, or
what to do with the Irish. The real question, however, concerned the
identity of Ireland. Was Ireland a Integral part of Britain or another
British colony? An analysis of this union revealed three basic areas of
contention that shed light on this topic: politics, religion and
economics. These areas show that parity between the two states was
never achieved. This essay will address the question of identity in
the special case of Ireland and its engagement with Britain during the
Active Union.

The political problem of the Active Union was the unequal nature
of the agreement. Both parliaments passed the amendment which
stipulated a dissolving of the Irish parliament. Upon this elimination
of the Irish parliament, 100 elected M.P.s were sent to England for
Irish representation. Parliament consisted of 615 members and required
majority voting for bills to be passed. The Irish were proclaimed to
be equal partners, but, in reality, were grossly out-numbered. However,
no other colony possessed direct representation of its people in

The British law stated that only protestants were allowed to sit
for government.Ireland’s population was 80 percent catholic and 20
percent protestant. This restriction of representation of the religious
majority in Ireland furthered the inequality of the union. Ireland’s
true political desires were neither voiced nor given much attention.

In the Empire the head of government and most of the local
government administrations were British and protestant. The English
never attempted to make the Irish, English citizens, which would have
given them equality in the Empire. In fact, the common British
interpretation of their relationship with Ireland was understood in
terms of occupation.

These facts identified a severe disparity between the two
states. The political aspects clearly pointed to a unique form of
colonization of Ireland which was established with Ireland’s consent.
Thus, Ireland as a political entity was, by all means and purposes, a
colony of England.

The area of Religion related directly to society . Religion
helped form national identity, social order and morals/ethics. As
previously stated Ireland’s population was predominantly catholic. Upon
merging, parliament voted that the “national” church of the two states
was to be the Church of England. This specific church was of the
Anglican Denomination and protestant. As a result, the Irish population
was subjected to mass conversion by the English. Further, the Church of
England imposed a tithe on the Irish peasantry. This behavior was
categorized as belligerent and was not congruent with the concept of
equal partnership. To force religion or any other ideal on a society
does not promote peace nor does it exemplify equality.

The economic relationship between Ireland and England was
severely unbalanced. Ireland’s economy is 80 percent agrarian. The
Active Union caused no growth in the Irish Industrial sector. In fact,
Irish industrial production, per capita, receded. Creating a free trade
zone, which had been done by the Active Union agreement, put the ailing
Irish industry into direct competition with England’s enormous
industrial sector.
Ireland joined the English empire voluntarily, assuming there
would be an equitable relationship between the two states. The
relationship was to provide political parity, religious cooperation and
a mutual economic boom. Consequently, Ireland was reduced to colonial
status by superior British power. Ireland was consider to be a colony
of England politically, religiously and economically. The result of
this union was 120 years of constant political strife and the eventual
separation of the two states.