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date: 21 February 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This essay deals with the perceived emergence of a three-class social structure in the period. Between the aristocracy and the working class contemporaries observed the growth of a middle class especially in the rapidly expanding towns where urbanization gave rise to an urban bourgeoisie. These developments also affected the role of women in society, though the thesis that they created ‘separate spheres’ has been exaggerated. The creation of a bourgeois ideology of respectability was assisted by the Evangelical Revival. Increasing industrialization, though not as revolutionary as was once thought, affected the relative standards of living of the different classes. It also had an impact on the birth rate and relations between the sexes.

Keywords: class, gender, industrialization, religion, urbanization

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