Taking Liberties: The Struggle for Britain's Freedoms and Rights

Overview

For centuries, Britain has laid claim to the notion of liberty?and occasionally forgotten that the rights and freedoms enjoyed by its citizens were in fact hard-won. This volume uncovers those struggles?their winners, losers, and stalemates?which began nearly a millennium ago and continue to the present day. At heart, Taking Liberties is the story of individuals who sacrificed greatly for what they believed in, whether they were celebrated in their own day, like Wat Tyler and Emmeline Pankhurst, or little known ...

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Overview

For centuries, Britain has laid claim to the notion of liberty—and occasionally forgotten that the rights and freedoms enjoyed by its citizens were in fact hard-won. This volume uncovers those struggles—their winners, losers, and stalemates—which began nearly a millennium ago and continue to the present day. At heart, Taking Liberties is the story of individuals who sacrificed greatly for what they believed in, whether they were celebrated in their own day, like Wat Tyler and Emmeline Pankhurst, or little known despite their remarkable impact, like John Lilburne, Caroline Norton, and Fenner Brockway. Drawing on a wide range of British collections—including diaries, firsthand accounts, and individual ephemera—this readable and compelling text helps give a voice to the nature of British democracy at a time when cohesion, diversity, and identity have raised the stakes of public debate.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780712350297
  • Publisher: British Library, The
  • Publication date: 2/15/2009
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Ashley is the author of more than eighty books covering a wide range of subjects, including The Seven Wonders of the World, British Monarchs, King Arthur, The Age of the Storytellers, and the biography of Algernon Blackwood, Starlight Man.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I: The Roots of Liberty

Magna Carta

The Rule of Law

Domesday Book

The Voice of the People

Part II: National Liberties

The First Parliaments

The Subjugation of Wales

The Declaration of Arbroath

The Irish Remonstrance

The Petition of Right

Agreement of the People

Death of a King

A British Constitution?

The United Kingdom

Part III: Freedom of Worship and Conscience

Expulsion or Sanctuary?

The Right to Read the Bible

The English Reformation

The National Covenant

Plots and Pleas

Freedom of the Press

Censorship and the Theatre

Wilkes and Liberty

Religious Tolerance

British or Alien?

Casualties of War

Northern Ireland

Part IV: The Rights of the Individual
Dreams and Ideals

Liberty Exported

Thomas Paine

The Abolition of Slavery

Free the World

The Rights of Women

Gay Rights

International Human Rights

Part V: The Right to Vote

Radicals and Repression

The First Reform Act

The People’s Charter

The Vote Expands

Votes for Women

Part VI: The Right to Welfare

Rights for the Poor

Child Labour

Looking after the Child

The Elderly

Disabilities

Workers’ Rights

Strife

The Welfare State

Rights Under Threat

Key Dates

Further Information

Index

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