Romanticismo inglese: il contesto storico

Romanticismo inglese: il contesto storico

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Under the reign of George III, the relationship between Great Britain and American colonies was good. Then, Great Britain started to impose a lot of taxes to American colonies, although they hadn't representation in the British Parliament; so they refused to pay, in fact their principle was ''No taxation without representation''. So the American Revolution started in 1775; the American colonies were led by George Washington and they defeated  Great Britain, thanks to the help of European armies, in particular France. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was approved and in 1783 Great Britain accepted American Independence, thanks to the Treaty of Versailles.

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION - After the loss of American colonies, the new prime minister of Great Britain, William Pitt the Younger, started to reorganized the administration of Great Britain and its colonies. In India, the governor general had the control of all Indian continent and he was chosen by the crown. Thanks to the new discoveries of James Cook, Australia became a new British colony, in which British convicts were deported. In Canada, Pitt took important decisions, in fact he divided it into two provinces: one was English-speaking and Protestant, the other was French-speaking and Catholic. The French revolution started in 1789 and it was a big shock for Britain, in particular for its violence. Then great Britain became the leader of the six European coalitions against France and Napoleon. Although the French army defeated British army, Britain kept a big resistance and in the battle of Waterloo, it defeated Napoleon. With the Congress of Vienna the old monarchies of Europe were re-established. The French revolution frightened the British aristocracy; so the meetings of workers were made illegal. However in 1811-1812 there were the Luddite Riots, in which workers started to attack factory and they destroyed machineries. In 1819 there was another event, in which during a meeting of workers the British army killed eleven people and injured a lot of people; this episode was called Peterloo Massacre, an ironic reference to the battle of Waterloo.

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION - In 17th century, there was a type of economy, in which there was the intervention of the state (protectionism). In 18th century, a new type of economy was diffused, thanks to the new ideas of freedom: economic liberalism, in which there was free trade and all economic activities weren't controlled by the state. This was summed up in the expression ''laissez-faire''. The industrial revolution took place in Great Britain from about 1760 to about 1840. It was a process of change from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy. In this period there were some technical innovation, thanks to the application of science to industry, for example there was the use of new materials, of new energy sources, the invention of new machines to increase the production, and the use of a new system of organization of work, called the factory system.

 

Romanticismo: riassunto del periodo romantico