Englishmen 17th Century

Topics: 18th century, Working class, Social class Pages: 4 (1324 words) Published: June 16, 2005
FIRST ESSAY: Thomas Hobbes described the life of most Englishmen in the 17th century as "nasty, brutish and short." How far does the evidence presented in Past Speaks chpt. 2, suggest that little had changed by the mid 18th century?

Chapter two of Past Speaks, covers many different articles that discusses the many social classes that were present in Britain at that time. When Thomas Hobbes described the life of the Englishmen as "nasty, brutish and short." he was partially correct. On the contrary he was also mistaken. Thomas Hobbes made a generalization of the Englishmen, and failed to mention some of the upper and profitable people of the British society. Obviously the wealthy and prosperous people were not included in this generalization that is made. Farmers from Norfolk were very successful, as stated in Past Speaks chapter 2, "Pointing out the practices which have succeeded so nobly here, may perhaps be of some use to other countries possessed of the same advantages, but unknowing in the art of them." Arthur Young, a traveling one-man bureau, wrote about these farmers and successful cattle-breeding men. He speaks of a man by the name of Robert Bakewell, who turned out to be a very wealthy man. Bakewell experimented in the breeding of cattle. He managed to breed a large amount of cattle that could produce more meat and less bone, in which he ended up shipping overseas to neighboring countries. Thomas Hobbes again, did not include these men in the comment he had made.

Henri Misson, visiting sportsmen to England did write on the sports and diversions of England. Misson writes "Anything that looks like fighting is delicious to an Englishman. If two little boys quarrel in the street, then passengers stop, make a ring round them in a moment, and set them against one another, that they may come to fisticuffs." This piece does support Thomas Hobbes comment on the difference of Englishmen from the 17th to the 18th century. This seemed as...
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