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  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: March 2008

13 - Structure, culture and society in British towns

from Part II - Governance
Thomas Chalmers was a Scottish minister of religion. He spent much energy trying to reconcile political economy and evangelical religion. For Chalmers, towns with different economic and social structures produced very different sorts of social relationships. The interest in the relationship between urban culture and the economic and social structure of British towns was and is part of a wider inquiry into the nature of the British response to industrial change. The urban place in Britain was the site for the creation, extension and consolidation of a civil society. Civil society involved the increasing range of social activity which was free of the prescriptive relationships of family or of the state, free of the tyranny of cousins and the tyranny of the state. The general strike or the National Health Service ignored and overlay the specific nature of the urban. By the 1960s the urban places of Britain had become an urban society.
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The Cambridge Urban History of Britain
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