30 Sep '22 13:18>
@teinosuke saidI appreciate your detailed response and stand corrected on some but yet your picture of late Victorian Britain seems a bit too rose tinted for me. I’m far from convinced of the churches role in these improvements but do accept many of the individuals who spearheaded these improvements had deeply held religious beliefs, some like John Cadbury and Edward Rowntree were Quaker’s and seemed driven to lift the poor. But at street level the mainstream Church looked like just another organ of suppression and excuser for the rampant and life shortening inequality.
I agree with some of your points (for instance, it's certainly an important fact that populations were become less transient). But I'd take issue with most of them:
The late Victorian era was rife with industrial exploitation of children
This had been true since the late eighteenth century and remained true in the early Victorian era, but reforming legis ...[text shortened]... Belgian King Leopold II's wholly commercial, and wholly disgusting imperial enterprise in the Congo.
What has not been mentioned so far is burgeoning union and labour movements of the period or the need for an ever better trained / skilled workforce as drivers for improving conditions and better educational regimes. I don’t buy the Church / Christianity as the sole or even main driving force for the positive trends seen in this period. It seems to be part of the argument that tries to claim that we get the positive aspects of our nature instilled from religious text rather than being innate aspects of our humanity which to me is equally dangerous and depressing.