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Why Was There No British Revolution in Europe's 'Ageof Revolutions'?
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Revolutionary Europe: Essay 3
Why Was There No British Revolution in Europe's 'Age of Revolutions'?
Revolution: n. overthrow of a government by the governed. Great change; complete rotation.
From the dawn of the French Revolution to the mid 19th Century, much of Europe was characterised by political upheaval, social dislocation, economic recession and huge demographic change. Britain retained an isolation from such events, taking the course of fast industrialisation, mass urbanisation, and demands for the reform of parliament; despite the revolutionary backdrop in Europe Britain managed to escape the phenomena and its government remained intact throughout our period. It experienced no such 'revolution', that is, in the strictest sense of the word. It did however witness widespread rioting and rebellion such as that at Peterloo, and calls for a political overhaul of parliament. It is thus that we enter into the controversial historical debate over Britain in our epoch. While many contemporaries felt they were in the midst of a revolutionary situation, for example, Place, who states that '[w]e were within a moment of general rebellion'1 some historians, such as Christie, suggest that there was nothing of revolutionary potential or even significance
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