Politics in the Urban Community

  • H. T. Dickinson

Abstract

All historians interested in the politics of the people must pay particular attention to urban communities. After all, it was in the towns, especially the larger towns, that popular politics in all its manifestations flourished most vigorously and most persistently. It was in the larger urban constituencies that parliamentary elections were most frequently contested and where the voters and even the non-voters were most often drawn into partisan activities. The activities of both popular radicalism and popular conservatism, whether they involved distributing propaganda, organising petitions, forming associations or holding public meetings, were mainly based in urban communities. The overwhelming majority of riots and crowd demonstrations also occurred in urban settings. All of these aspects of urban politics deserve and are given separate treatment in this study. In this chapter the focus is on the extent to which local government in the urban communities involved the townspeople at large and revolved around political issues which divided men along partisan lines. The first aim here is to show that access to office in the various institutions of local government was not always restricted to a narrow oligarchy and that the few who held office were not in fact able to ignore the interests of their fellow townsmen.

Keywords

Income Assure Lime Expense Silt 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© H. T. Dickinson 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. T. Dickinson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EdinburghUK

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