Matthew Arnold British Liberalism and Culture in Culture and Anarchy

Matthew Arnold, British Liberalism and Culture in "Culture and Anarchy"

Liberalism in 1867

The British community experienced great reform in the second half of the nineteenth century, considering that innovative ideologies threatened to change practically everything regarding politics in the country. Liberalism seemed to be the perfect solution to people's trouble because it provided them with the opportunity to get actively involved in governing the country. However, because the authorities were reluctant to yield power, matters became critical as the masses gradually started to acknowledge that the government was, in fact, better prepared to assist the country. The liberal movement was largely caused by Britain's economic ascendency in the early nineteenth century, as people started to put across a need for self-governance. In spite of the fact that the country eventually came to experience Liberalism, the government was still involved in controlling most of the affairs within its borders.

The vital liberal state was installed across 1867 and people could benefit from "minimal state interference and therefore minimal taxation, relative freedom of speech, publication and religion, and non-autocratic, constitutional government" (Kelly & Cantrell 7). One of the most important aspects of the state was the fact that it believed that its citizens were capable to perform ethical deeds and that they were entitled to freedom. Liberalism made it possible for the state to contribute to the process of reform by becoming a powerful ally of the people instead of being their enemy.

The laissez-faire policy of 1867 provided people with reasonable conditions for them to evolve. As a result of reform, approximately 1,500,000 men were enfranchised, with regulations stating that all men living in urban environments were eligible to vote. The principal goal of party Liberalism in Britain was related to installing a political democracy. Even though the state appeared to appreciate the ideology, it was reluctant to abandon its authority. The authorities practically experimented throughout most of the nineteenth century with the purpose of discovering the best method of government. Even though it promoted freedom, the state often intervened in people's social and economic affairs in order to guarantee that the community that they belonged to experienced success (Pugh, 107).

William Ewart Gladstone is one of the most representative individuals regarding nineteenth century's Liberal Britain. He seized the opportunity to combine circumstantial elements with morality in coming up with a set of principles that assisted the country as it attempted to achieve progress. "For Gladstone, government's responsibility was to oppose privilege, injustice, and inhumanity" (Del Testa & Lemoine & Strickland 69). He mainly considered that individuals were responsible for their own well-being and that depending on their efforts they would be likely to ascend or descend on the social class ladder. Even with that, he agreed that freedom is an essential factor assisting individuals in experiencing progress. Gladstone did not appreciate bills that favored particular groups and expressed particular interest in ameliorating Irish rural poverty by preventing landowners from imposing cruel legislations.

In spite of having experienced notable progress as a result of Liberalism, the British community was still constrained by a series of unethical regulations that influent people in the state continued to uphold. Lyndhurst, English Lord Chancellor, introduced a bill into the House of Lords in 1835 with the intention of permitting marriages only if they complied with certain requirements. The bill proposed the concept that marriages could be canceled if the status of the people involved were in disagreement with state regulations. Lyndhurst's motivation for creating the bill was related to how individuals could experience diverse problems if they did not form a conventional couple. Similarly, children who were a part of the relationship could also suffer greatly as a result of their parents being predisposed to arguing. In these situations, "primary focus has been on pressing issues like divorce, married women's property rights, child custody and wife abuse" (Chambers). Victorians emphasized the role of the deceased sister's wife and related to how it was wrong for a man to marry his sister-in-law consequent to his wife's death. In spite of the fact that this problem does not seem to be particularly important in the general context, it generated a lot of political problems during the second half…