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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Rural Rides by William Cobbett

This is certainly an interesting piece of journalism from Cobbett. It essentially follows his journey across the south of England, and you read about his consistant complainig. These complaints range from the treatment of farmers and the countryside, to the trees that fill England.

William Cobbett was a man with very strong opinions. He was an englished journlist, and began producing his own newspaper called the 'Political Register'. He campaind for freedom of speech, and cared passionatly for farm labourers. He hated the way land owners would treat them, and saw it as being close to slavery.

During the time of writing in the 1800's, France had experienced a political revolution, and England saw an industrial revolution. England were eventually dragged into the Napoleonic war, and when thier soldiers returned, they found no jobs in the countryside, and instead (much like many people had alredy done) they fled to the city in search of work. Cobbett did not like to see the money produced from the countryside get invested into cities, as it created the gradual decline in wealth for those in farms.

Corn Laws(1815-1846) were brought in to pressure the agricultural industry, and to ensure that British trade would continue to florish(much like it did since taking advantage of the French revolution). But Cobbett was very much against this idea.

In 'Rural Rides', Cobbett makes comments such as 'All middlesex is ugly' and that surrey 'has some of the very best and of the worst lands'. These opinionated comments ae good examples of his very negative views and personality. He doesn't hide how he feels, and it becomes a more personal account.


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