Romantic Period

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L'appunto tratta del periodo romantico inglese, il contesto storico e culturale dell'epoca.(2pg. file.doc) (0 pagine formato doc)

ROMANTIC PERIOD (1776-1837) ROMANTIC PERIOD (1776-1837) THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT.
The Romantic Period is described by the historians as the “Age of revolution”. It opens with the American Declaration of Independence and continues with the political Revolution in France and the Industrial Revolution in England. The French Revolution (1789-1794) destroyed the old social system in the name of liberty, equality and fraternity with the rise of the middle class. Later on, in 1804 Napoleon became Emperor. He dominated Europe and involved Britain in several wars from 1793 till 1815 when the Duke of Wellington defeated his army at the Battle of Waterloo. Meanwhile England was transformed by the Industrial Revolution, which caused several social unrests.
It determined class conflicts between employers and workers like in the case of Luddite Riots (1811-12) when textile workers in the North of England destroyed the new mills and machinery which had substitute them in the work. In this period British Radicalism spread: it wanted radical reforms of the electoral system and the universal suffrage. Radicals believed that Parliament should represent all the people and not only the property owners and aristocracy. The Tory government combated Radicalism prohibiting freedom of speech and association and through the use of armed forces. For this reason there was a clash between the two parts that ended with the Paterloo Massacre of 1819, in which 15 people, who had gathered in Manchester to require the electoral reform, were killed and a lot of them were wounded. By the 1820 Radicalism was a spent force, both because of the success of the government tactics and because of the improvement in the economic situation. In the 1832 the First Reform Act was approved and extended the right to vote to the middle class and reduced the power of aristocracy. The territorial expansion slowed down in the Romantic Period, but because of the Industrial Revolution, the development of more overseas markets was necessary; so England resumed the conquest of new territory. THE SOCIAL CONTEXT. Almost all the people greeted England's involvement with the French Revolution with general enthusiasm. The great exception was Edmund Burke who describes, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, the event as a plunge back into savagery and advocated reform rather than revolution. Tom Paine and William Blake were of different opinion, thinking that the established institution were corrupted and malign. Tom Pain, in his Rights of Man, contrasted England unfavourably with revolutionary France and independent America and hoped that the democratic movement might soon affect the whole of Europe. Britain's Industrial Revolution began around 1780; there was a radical change from an economy based on farms to one based on factories. In fact, while before there was a domestic system (or cottage) and goods were produced at home, with the new factory system there was a real transformation o