Providence and Empire: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain and Ireland, 1815-1914

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The 19th century was, to a large extent, the 'British century'. Great Britain was the great world power and its institutions, beliefs and values had an immense impact on the world far beyond its formal empire. Providence and Empire argues that knowledge of the religious thought of the time is crucial in understanding the British imperial story. The churches of the United Kingdom were the greatest suppliers of missionaries to the world, and there was a widespread belief that Britain had a divine mission to spread Christianity and civilisation, to eradicate slavery, and to help usher in the millennium; the Empire had a providential purpose in the world. This is the first connected account of the interactions of religion, politics and society in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales between 1815 and 1914. Providence and Empire is essential reading for any student who wishes to gain an insight into the social, political and cultural life of this period.