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264

The Assassination of President

Lincoln .

266

Death of Lord Palmerston 267

Strike and Lock-out in the
Iron Districts

268

The Cattle Plague

269

The Condition of the Country 270

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THE GLADSTONE MINISTRY.

PAGE

401

367

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422

Mr. Disraeli declines to form

a new Administration 422

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A HISTORY OF ENGLAND,

ETC.

CHAPTER I.

SEBASTOPOL.

We are now entering on a period which presents some very marked contrasts with those that preceded it. The prospect of a great European war turned men's thoughts from those important organic changes which had so strongly stirred their minds; and, after the close of the war, those changes were regarded by them in a different light. They were still as resolved to obtain the franchise as they had been in the palmiest days of the charter, and they possessed much greater power of enforcing their claim to it. But they sought it less eagerly, because they rightly felt that social and moral changes which were within their reach were more needed, and more likely to benefit them than political changes. And though the majority of the upper and middle classes still opposed such an extension of the franchise as the working classes demanded, they no longer dreaded them as the precursors of a revolutionary deluge. If, therefore, the extension of the franchise was less eagerly pressed, it was also less vehemently resisted.

More or less closely connected with these changes in public feeling were the changes which were taking place in the legislature. The House of Lords had now tacitly accepted that place in the constitution which the victory of the people had assigned to it. It no longer arrogated to itself a legislative authority coördinate with that possessed by the representatives of the nation; and the Commons, on the understanding that they should enjoy an unquestioned superiority of real power, were quite willing that the Peers should retain their superiority in dignity and pre

VOL. III.

B

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