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The Decline and Fall of Aristocracy PowerPoint Presentation

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  • Slide 1 - The Decline and Fall of Aristocracy The English Oligarchy and American Old South Gentry: 17th-19th Centuries R. Walker Garrett Senior Capstone Dr. Jeremy Lewis
  • Slide 2 - Aristocracy The elite ruling minority within a society Concentration of power, wealth, and social status Exclusive privileges and influence protected by class unity Common beliefs or interests
  • Slide 3 - English Aristocracy Time period of Aristocratic political superiority 1688-1885 Concentration of power in parliament and the monarch’s court Titled nobles, the landed wealth, and wealthy industrialists, merchants, and financiers Hierarchy of influence based on social status Ancient Lineage, landed wealth, and respectable values determined status level God’s elect Generally ownership of at least 1000 acres Degrees of rank with status designation
  • Slide 4 - English Aristocratic Power Distributions Control of the overwhelming majority of land of the British Isles Monopoly of power in The House of Lords by the peers Ability to throw out all but money measures produced in the commons Majority of landed gentlemen in the House of Common Control of the judiciary with the gentry in most Justice of the Peace positions Occupations dominated by the landed classes: Judiciary Church Army Civil Service
  • Slide 5 - Land of the British Isles Held in Estates of 1000+ Acres, c.1880 Table from The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Cannadine
  • Slide 6 - Movements to Weaken the English Aristocratic Powers Shift of Power from Tory Party to Whigs John Wilkes Industrial Revolution Plutocrats Reform Act of 1832 Larger Electorate, Updating of Voting Districts Reform Act of 1867 Voting rights to the working class Reform Act of 1884-1885 Doubled electorate size and redistributed seats Reform Act of 1918 Universal Adult Suffrage Methodism Challenge to Anglican Church and its class structure
  • Slide 7 - Compromise and Concessions: The Aristocracy Power Strategy Generations of Power Instinct to see inevitable in class development Entail, the inheritance of estates by the eldest male, ensured concentrated wealth across generations Industrial Revolution Use of Industry to complement traditional land based wealth Liberal members of Parliament Supported and introduced reforms gradually giving up privileges Extended power to middle class as a conservative addition to the electorate Reforms proposed with enough to satiate demands for change from the common people
  • Slide 8 - Southern Aristocracy The Old South Aristocracy 1775-1865 “Nouveaux riche” Middle-class or bourgeois origins Landed Gentry Agrarian dominated economy Plantation system Slavery Country Gentleman Ideal Unified through a common culture Chivalry Pursuit of Leisure
  • Slide 9 - Southern Aristocratic Power Distributions Planter class domination Best land Control over local governments State Constitutions Property requirements to vote Upward Mobility Small farmers supported the power structure Wealth was not tied to one group of families consistently Education concentration within the elite
  • Slide 10 - Factors of the Decline of Southern Aristocratic Powers The Industrial Revolution No industry development in South Abolitionist movement Agrarian economy dependent on slaves White Manhood Suffrage in all southern states by 1850’s Gentry culture Exaggeration of country gentleman ideas Lack of initiative in business Lazy lifestyle required slavery Financial debt
  • Slide 11 - Destruction of the Old South Secession from the Union Interests of the planters Civil War Emancipation Proclamation Plantation system destroyed Slavery was the economic engine of the agrarian South Southern gentry lost the foundation for their country gentlemen lifestyle
  • Slide 12 - Theories Revealing Causes of the Decline Edmund Burke Change is necessary, but hold onto the past institutions, gradual not revolutionary “all men have equal rights, but not to equal things” Alexis De Tocqueville “Equality of Condition” Old South poor farmers submitting to place in social structure Max Weber Bureaucracy is the enemy of aristocracy The rise of modern bureaucracy in England The development of career politicians and civil servants
  • Slide 13 - English and Old South Aristocracies Compared Max Weber’s approaches to Social Analysis English Aristocracy’s methods of survival and Old South’s refusal to change and adapt Financial Resources Old South tied to agrarian lifestyle and slavery Lack of modern industry Fad of debt English adapted to Industrial Age Social Position Old South pursued an exaggerated imitation of English feudal values of chivalry and honor Position collapses due to rank in society dominated by wealth and class position English views of status is a consistent measure of social position and keeps exclusiveness part of upper strata Political Activities Old South vehemently opposed influence of the North Refusal to compromise caused civil war English initiative in political compromise bought time for the oligarchy

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