Political liberalism was first stabilized in Great Britain and the United States. Although the British avoided many of the difficulties that beset the Continent immediately following Napoleon Bonaparte's downfall in 1815, they had succumbed temporarily to the spirit of reaction. The Industrial Revolution brought to England considerable social discontent which was accentuated by the economic difficulties of the postwar years. Radical agitators insisted that evolutionary reform was not possible in an England where the masses were not genuinely represented in Parliament. When the malcontents adopted extremist measures — strikes, mass meetings, and riots — the propertied and politically effective classes supported a reactionary ministry. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "3. The Progress of Political Liberalism. XIII: Political Liberalism and Nationalism, 1815-1871." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 37-44.