During the Great Hunger of the late 1840s, the Irish Question flared up in such an ugly form that it tested the optimism of the day.
Many people were touched by the Irish Question.
The English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish were referred to as "races" in British identity.
It would be difficult to describe any of them as having warm feelings for the other people.
The Scots and Welsh, like the Irish, had their own grievances, but they were not as bitter as the Irish.
As the century progressed, British leaders began to view racism in a different way, with arrogance and superiority from that found in Germanspeaking areas.
One of the strongest partisans of the idea of racial hierarchies was Benjamin Disraeli, who was a proud member of the Semitic race, but did not fit into any of Britain's historical racial groups.
The English-Irish hostilities were among the worst in Europe by the 1850s.
In 1868, after taking over from Disraeli, Gladstone promised to "pacify" Ireland.
It would seem odd for a man to claim that it is not by the state that the world can be effectively dealt with.
He made progress in disestablishing the Church of England in Catholic Ireland, but he ran into trouble when he proposed allocating plots of land to the Irish rural poor.
The landlords were part of the Liberal Party.
Home Rule means Irish independence with a separate parliament but not full inde pendence from Britain.
The Irish Republican Brotherhood, a more militant nationalist group in Ireland, wanted a complete break and the creation of a nation-state, linked to a program of land reform.
In the late 1870s and early 1880s, parliamentary debates raged.
There was a formal split in the Liberal Party because of Home Rule.
Efforts to reach a compromise failed and the ministry was brought down.
When he was in his eighties, he returned to the task many times, even in his final ministry in the early 1890s.
The Irish cauldron exploded again in 1914-16, and remained a major problem into the second half of the twentieth century.
The Victorian era was considered to be one of the most confident in progress due to the progress being made in scientific discovery.
Intellectual creativity and cultural richness are rare in human history.
Life seemed to be getting better for a lot of people.
Scientists were venerated in ways that saints and military heroes had been in the past, even though they were feared and vilified by part of the population.
Charles Darwin is the only thinker of the 19th century who could match the prestige and influence of IsaacNewton.
The phrase "and God said" did not fit in his case, for Darwin's scientific findings demolished the biblical account of human origins and denied any role to a benevolent deity.
Many Christians of his day were dismayed and angry by this.
The biblical account of divine creation was dismissed as a myth by Enlightened observers.
The denunciations that thundered down on him were more significant than the widespread praise he received from mid-century intellectual elites.
Darwin politely declined the honor.
The nature of Darwin's scientific contribution is often misconstrued.
The idea of evolution was not novel or shocking because the ancient Greeks had proposed something similar and Darwin's grandfather had published a work speculating that all species had evolved from a common ancestor.
Jean Baptiste Lamarck, a French scientist, suggested that species adjust to their environment and then pass those changes on to their offspring.
Hegel's philosophy was about evolution and the nature of change in history.
"Change," evolutionary or revolutionary, of a beneficial and progressive nature was the watchword of an age that had seen so much of it.
"Progress" was not a new word.
Darwin's friends and early supporters, including an older friend and early supporter of his, Charles Lyell, had observed progressive change in rocks and artifacts that were much older than the Book of Genesis.
Darwin may be seen as someone standing on the shoulders of his predecessors and surrounded by supportive peers.
He was suggesting something that the world was ready to hear.
Alfred R. Wallace's findings are similar to Darwin's in 1855.
Wallace's announcement pushed Darwin to publish his own book.
The way that individual organisms, through random hereditary variations, were "selected" according to their ability to fight, defend, feed, and reproduce more successfully than others, was the subject of Darwin's presentation.
The process involved an eternal, desperate struggle for existence that resulted in the survival of the fittest or the most favored races.
Darwin's testimony shows that he developed these concepts from reading Malthus, who emphasized the disparity between how little food can be produced in relation to how many babies can be created.
Malthus believed that the result of the disparity was human suffering.
New, more "fit" species was what Darwin saw.
A range of hugely contentious issues were touched on by Darwin.
He seemed to his detractors to be positioning a meaningless world, one of moral anarchy and human worthlessness, when he passed over the role of God.
Darwin's concept of fitness was based on the ability of an organisms to survive and produce offspring.
The phrase "most favored races" was used by Darwin's detractors to question human equality and Christian universalism.