Taking Liberties

The Struggle for Britain's Freedoms and Rights

Mike Ashley

Taking Liberties

Mike Ashley

Distributed for British Library

144 pages | 200 color plates | 9-3/5 x 11-2/5
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780712350297 Published February 2009 For sale in North and South America only

For centuries, Britain has laid claim to the notion of liberty—and occasionally forgotten that the rights and freedoms enjoyed by its citizens were in fact hard-won. This volume uncovers those struggles—their winners, losers, and stalemates—which began nearly a millennium ago and continue to the present day. At heart, Taking Liberties is the story of individuals who sacrificed greatly for what they believed in, whether they were celebrated in their own day, like Wat Tyler and Emmeline Pankhurst, or little known despite their remarkable impact, like John Lilburne, Caroline Norton, and Fenner Brockway. Drawing on a wide range of British collections—including diaries, firsthand accounts, and individual ephemera—this readable and compelling text helps give a voice to the nature of British democracy at a time when cohesion, diversity, and identity have raised the stakes of public debate.




Part I: The Roots of Liberty

Magna Carta

The Rule of Law

Domesday Book

The Voice of the People


Part II: National Liberties

The First Parliaments

The Subjugation of Wales

The Declaration of Arbroath

The Irish Remonstrance

The Petition of Right

Agreement of the People

Death of a King

A British Constitution?

The United Kingdom


Part III: Freedom of Worship and Conscience

Expulsion or Sanctuary?

The Right to Read the Bible

The English Reformation

The National Covenant

Plots and Pleas

Freedom of the Press

Censorship and the Theatre

Wilkes and Liberty

Religious Tolerance

British or Alien?

Casualties of War

Northern Ireland


Part IV: The Rights of the Individual
Dreams and Ideals

Liberty Exported

Thomas Paine

The Abolition of Slavery

Free the World

The Rights of Women

Gay Rights

International Human Rights


Part V: The Right to Vote

Radicals and Repression

The First Reform Act

The People’s Charter

The Vote Expands

Votes for Women


Part VI: The Right to Welfare

Rights for the Poor

Child Labour

Looking after the Child

The Elderly


Workers’ Rights


The Welfare State


Rights Under Threat


Key Dates


Further Information



For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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