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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: September 2019

10 - The Birth of Civilised Britain

from Part IV - Conclusion


In this conclusion to the book, the author reflects on the outcome of the battle for Christian Britain, the decay of conservative Christian moral vigilantism and the rise of liberalism and progressivism in medical and moral law. The evidence demonstrates that it is simplistic to centre the leadership role for moral change upon London when the provincial case studies reveal rapid, singular and in some ways pioneering change taking place a considerable distance from the metropolis. The book also shows up the fallacy of thinking of mid-century change as a wholly harmonious transition from conservative to liberal Christianity. Rather, the complex pattern of contests, fought both in the public sphere and in a few cases (as with the demise of the Public Morality Council) in private, were vigorous ideological confrontations, generating considerable irascibility which to a certain extent survives into the early twenty-first century. Some intriguing outcomes of the contests are discussed, but, overall, the moral conservatives lost the battle for Christian Britain and left a dominant secularity.

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