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The Halévy Thesis—A Working Hypothesis? English Revivalism: Antidote for Revolution and Radicalism 1789–1815

  • Elissa S. Itzkin (a1)

Extract

He “saw England with fresh eyes”, and for more than fifty years Elie Halévy's provocative interpretation of the effect of religion on the Victorian out look has continued to engender lively debate and controversy. After his History of the English People in the Nineteenth Century, few historians would contest the practical role of evangelicalism and nonconformity in molding Victorian society. What continues to be challenged is Halévy's claim that the moral influence of the evangelical movement is the parameter within which the social history of nineteenth-century England unfolded.

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1. Clark, G. Kitson, The Making of Victorian England (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1962), p. 22.

2. Halévy, Elie, A History of the English People in the Nineteenth Century, 6 vols. (New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1961); hereafter cited as History.

3. Thompson, E. P., The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1963), p. 390.

4. Rudé, George, Debate on Europe, 1815–1850 (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1972), p. 132.

5. Kitson Clark, P. 22.

6. The excerpts which follow are from Semmel's edition, The Birth of Methodism in England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971), pp. 7477.

7. Semmel, , Introduction to The Birth of Methodism, p. 12.

8. Gillispie, Charles, “The Work of Elie Halévy,” Journal of Modern History 22 (1950): 234.

9. Stretton, Hugh, The Political Sciences, General Principles of Selection in Social Science and History (New York: Basic Books, 1969), pp. 275276, 282.

10. Gillispie, p. 243.

11. Himmelfarb, Gertrude, Victorian Minds (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), p. 298.

12. Hobsbawm, E. J., “Methodism and the Threat of Revolution in Britain,” in his Labouring Men, Studies in the History of Labour (New York: Basic Books, 1964).

13. White, R. J., Waterloo to Peterloo (New York: Macmillan and Company, 1957), p. 45.

14. Gillispie, p. 243.

15. Rudé, p. 230.

16. Semmel, Bernard, The Methodist Revolution (New York: Basic Books, 1973), p. 193.

17. Ibid., p. 3.

18. White, p. 27.

19. History, 4:292–293.

20. Gillispie, p. 243.

21. Stretton, p. 282.

22. Stretton, p. 282.

23. History, 1:591.

24. Kitson Clark, p. 20.

25. Hammond, J. L. and Hammond, Barbara, The Town Labourer, 1760–1832 (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1917), p. 222.

26. Semmel, , Methodist Revolution, p. 178.

27. Kiernen, V., “Evangelicalism and the French Revolution,” Past and Present 1 (02 1952): 44.

28. Inglis, K. S., Churches and the Working Classes in Victorian England, ed. Perkin, Harold (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1963), p. 9.

29. Wearmouth, Robert, Methodism and the Working-Class Movement of England: 1800–1859 (London: The Epworth Press, 1937), p. 16. See also, Edwarls, Maldwyn, After Wesley, A Study of the Social and Political Influence of Methodism in the Middle Period, 1791–1849 (London: The Epworth Press, 1935), pp. 143147.

30. Thompson, p. 388.

31. Wearmouth, pp. 69–70.

32. Kitson Clark, p. 22.

33. Taylor, E. R., Methodism and Politics: 1791–1851 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1935), p. 32.

34. Kitson Clark, p. 184.

35. Edwards, p. 143.

36. Thompson, p. 46.

37. Ibid., p. 368.

38. Wearmouth, p. 70.

39. Semmel, , Methodist Revolution, p. 170.

40. Ibid., p. 5.

41. Perkin, Harold, The Origins of Modern English Society: 1780–1880 (London, 1969), p. 354.

42. Thompson, p. 394.

43. Perkin, p. 354.

44. Semmel, , Methodist Revolution, pp. 171172.

45. Himmelfarb, p. 297.

46. White, pp. 33–34.

47. Hammond and Hammond, p. 287.

48. Rudé, p. 232.

49. Hobsbawm, p. 32.

50. Thompson, p. 389.

51. Semmel, , Introduction to The Birth of Methodism, pp. 2526.

52. Himmelfarb, p. 299.

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Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
  • URL: /core/journals/church-history
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