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p. 183. Reform and Religionlocked

  • Christopher Harvie
  •  and H. C. G. Matthew

Abstract

‘Reform and Religion’ contrasts the obstacles to political reform with the dynamism of Evangelical revival. The British government played little role in encouraging or discouraging industrialization, instead the ideology of classical economics and government as a self-regulating mechanism held sway. Government corruption and inefficiency were an admitted problem in need of attention, but vested interests in the ill-distributed electoral system prevented Reform. Representation was poorly distributed, with industrial towns especially underrepresented. Evangelicalism rejuvenated the Anglican Church and could bring strong political pressure to bear on issues which it considered important. Methodism and ‘vital religion’ expanded rapidly in Wales and the industrial areas.

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