Miranda wrote:Do you know / think that Mr. Keats believed in the liberty of individuals?
Shelley was indeed extremely politically active, an atheist and republican no less at a time when both were seen as abominations by the authorities.
Keats was politically I would say liberal with a small 'l'.
It's hard, unless you've really explored the political landscape of the Regency era and are politically aware of today's climate to transpose modern liberal ethics and political thought into that time. Forget the modern meanings of the word liberal or conservative, they are not compatible with the way those terms would have been applied in that era.
Keats was neither as radical as Shelley, nor as reactionary as Wordsworth would later become.
He was a reader of Hunt's Examiner the leading liberal journal of it's day and seems to have take most of his political standpoints form what was written there, at least in his early years. He died of course so young and his political views were never as fully expressed as someone like Shelley, or Byron even, who although aristocrats were active in the cause of reform, Byron even making his maiden speech in the House Of Lords in favour of frame-breakers in Nottingham.
It's hard for us today with near universal suffrage to imagine a time when only the very wealthiest landowners could even have a vote. Before the 1832 reform act Britain was certainly no democracy as we think of it today, with rotten boroughs and a tiny electorate of the wealthy elite.
You need to read up on Byron, he was most certainly on the liberal side of the equation, he was seen as the great radical Antichrist bogeyman, even more so than Shelley who was virtually unknown to the general public.
Keats almost certainly didn't have a vote at all believe it or not. I studied this period at University in great detail and while I can't remember the details, Keats certainly didn't fit into the property-owning class who were able to vote, you needed I think 40 shillings worth of landed property to vote, before the 1832 reform act the entire electorate was only about 200,000 in the whole country out of a population of about 12 million in England alone.
.I studied Ancient and Modern history ['modern' bizarrely ranging from the 14th century to the 20th which I always found amusing
Anyway I think the suffrage was so limited and parliament so corrupt [yes even more so than today] that politics were beyond the reach of most mere mortals. Elections were not as we see them today, and the 'parties', if they can be so-called in those days were not as sharply defined and coherent as we see now. Politics was of course as much a topic of conversation then as it is now, but as actual participation in the political process was so limited the vast majority [and they were the vast majority of people] without the vote had no concept of participating in democracy as we do today, the thought was beyond them.
I know what you mean about this present election, but I would urge you whatever your choice to vote, because a lot of people struggled their whole lives and some like the suffragettes of course died to give us that privilege. Whatever you think of the parties, or the politicians [and I could rant for even longer on their faults] we must exercise our right to vote, or the extremists will not be shy in mustering their hoards and playing on the fears of the people [I think you know which party I'm talking about there.
Saturn wrote:Yes but whatever you do, vote, don't [as some morons do] 'spoil' your vote because that is a wasted vote and will be binned, it won't account at all, it won't be seen as some proud protest, but a stupid thing to do, the politicians won't get the message that way at all, the less the turn-out the more power you give them.
I know what you mean about not knowing who to vote for, believe me it's even harder where I come from where I don't agree with either of the main parties' political stances but I will be voting.
Malia wrote:Sometimes not voting is actually a "vote". In the 2000 election, I voted for the third party candidate (Ralph Nader) as a kind of "objection" to the two main candidates. All that did was drag votes away from the Democratic candidate and give more fuel to the person I absolutely did *not* want in office--George W. Bush.
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