-Britain and America.


In the 18th century (under the reign [1760 – 1820 ] of George third ) domestic stability substitued the civil and religious conflict of the 17th century.

Britain fought against France for domination , and british prevailed according to the system of mercantilism. The navigation act said that all colonial trade (import-export) had to be in british ships.

British government had to sustain enourmous expenses and they wanted americans to help pay to cover the debt caused by the war. These taxes brought to rebellion and American divided into Patriots and Loyalists when the war of indipendence took place.

Americans knew better the territory and english had to fight on two sides. The support of french fleet was fundamental for Americans victory.

The declaration of indipendence was written in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson.

George Washington became the first president (1787) and U.S.A. adopted a federal constitution.


-Industrial and agricultural Revolutions


At the end of the 18th century, ways of manifacturing, farming and cultivating changed. Scientific thinking linked to the increase of trade (and so availability of raw material) brought to these revolutions.



Small parcels of lands where enclosed to make more efficent and large farms.

This way implies the improvement of agriculture to earn higher profits.



The industrial revolution start with the textile industries, where machine replaced the work of artisans (spinning and weaving) , that had to move to mill towns to work in factories. Industrial activity got an important impulse with steam engine of James Watt. With this growing industrials activity even transports had to improve, in fact efficiency of infrastructure grew.



-Industrial society


Industrial revolution caused the division of the society into two classes: wage payers or wage earners. The difference between rich and poor increased because land owners improved activity didn't coincide with an increase of the salary. Wealth turned England in a consumer society.

Population moved from agricultural or commercial areas to industrial areas (north) where factories where built near coalfields to directly get fuel. Mushrooms town born to give house to workers. Woman and children were preffered to man (easier to control) , and cities (overcrowded) lacked basic services (water , cleaning , open space ecc.) Work was mechanized and life of employees became a sort of routine.


-From the French Revolution to the Regency


Ruling classes were terrified by the gost of revolution , jacobinism. Intellectual supported ideas of revolution and inspirated the work of the poets. They were soon disillusioned by the tiranny (France). Trade slumps hit the factory economy and were the cause of unemployment , and with the high taxation , they caused misery and harvest. (birth of luddism). Discontent repressed hardly with authoritarianism. Policy of lassez faire by government during the period of regency (George IV).


-Emotion versus reason


In the last 30 years of the 18th century grows a new sensibility even in classical authors such as in Thomas Gray's work ( “Elegy written in a country churc yard” )

The Enlighment had been really important to valours as knowledge and progress but it had repressed emotion,feelings with its rationality. Men studing their surroundings starts to referre to their senses, just to escape from the difficult reality.

So individual becomes more important than the communal. The Romanticism also bring

new interest in humble (authentic feelings ), and in the desolate, there's a step back to the middle ages , and so to spiritualism. There's a contraste between the present and the past , that is seen with a sense of regrette.

Nature is no more something preset by god (which can be controlled only with the reason ) but become a living being, a shelter.


-The sublime


During the Romanticism, the sublime (which is much different from the beautiful) has particularl characteristics. The sublime is a condition , something that causes astonishment, which fills completely the mind with the object. Anything else can rob the mind as horror does. In fact what became the base of the sublime is obscurity, fear ,horror. Other words tipical of the Romantic movement are even the infinity, everything that overcomes human comprehension. ---> Fear in fact is used in despotics governments.


-The Romantic Imaginary


1) Much more importance given to the immagination (escape from the reality), 2) exaltation of childhood (a child is unspoilt by civilization and so is closer to God than an adult) 3) new emphasis on the individual , that becomes more important than the social, (previously man was described as a member of society, now the stress is on its particularl ability , its feelings ---> this happens because the individuality is repressed in industrial society and in Enlightment). 4) The rebel , the outcast , the atypical is exaltated (es: mith of Prometeus) ---> this led to the titanism , poet seen as a titan. 5) cult of exotic (Rousseau)


-Romantic Poetry


To express feelings and emotions imagination is given a great function, which also allows the poet to see beyond the reality , beyond reason and reach a truth based on individual feelings.Poet was seen as a visionary prophet, the intermediate between man and nature, who shows the evil in the society. Even if dark , nature is appreciated anyway , is a shelter.