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222

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269

The Condition of the Country 270

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the Bill

THE GLADSTONE MINISTRY.

PAGE

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396

The Franco-German War. 397

English sympathy with France 397

The Crimean question re-

opened

397

Opening of the Session of 1871 398

• The Battle of Dorking' 399

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428
429

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Mr. Gladstone retains office. 422

The Judicature Bill passed 423

Changes in the Cabinet 424

Financial operations of the

Government

424

The Tichborne Trial

425

Dissolution of Parliament 425

Conservativegains in the Elec-

tion

426

The Conservative victory ex-

plained.

427

Resignation of Mr. Gladstone 428

430

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440

A HISTORY OF ENGLAND,

ETC.

CHAPTER I.

SEBASTOPOL.

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We are now entering on a period which presents some very marked contrasts with those that preceded it. The prospect of a great European war turned men's thoughts from those important organic changes which had so strongly stirred their minds; and, after the close of the war, those changes were regarded by them in a different light. They were still as resolved to obtain the franchise as they had been in the palmiest days of the charter, and they possessed much greater power of enforcing their claim to it. But they sought it less eagerly, because they rightly felt that social and moral changes which were within their reach were more needed, and more likely to benefit them than political changes. And though the majority of the upper and middle classes still opposed such an extension of the franchise as the working classes demanded, they no longer dreaded them as the precursors of a revolutionary deluge. If, therefore, the extension of the franchise was less eagerly pressed, it was also less vehemently resisted.

More or less closely connected with these changes in public feeling were the changes wbich were taking place in the legislature. The House of Lords had now tacitly accepted that place in the constitution which the victory of the people had assigned to it. It no longer arrogated to itself a legislative authority coördinate with that possessed by the representatives of the nation; and the Commons, on the understanding that they should enjoy an unquestioned superiority of real power, were quite willing that tho Peers should retain their superiority in dignity and pre

VOL. III.

B

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