First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, Christopher Harvie and Colin Matthew\047s Very Short Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Britain is a sharp but subtle account of remarkable economic and social change and an even more remarkable political stability. Britain in 1789 was overwhelmingly rural, agrarian, multilingual, and almost half Celtic. By 1914, when it faced its greatest test since the defeat of Napoleon, it was largely urban and English. Christopher Harvie and Colin Matthew show the forces behind Britain\047s rise to its imperial zenith, and the continuing tensions within the nations and classes of the \047union state\047.

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