Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Ecology

Major Professor

Priscilla Blanton


Bernard’s philanthropic projects enlisted the help of Britons from every corner of the island, calling on the well-to-do to use their wealth, power and influence to promote the general welfare while asking the poor to assist in their own recovery. On one hand, I maintain that Bernard’s message to the wealthy fostered the making of a new British ruling elite from 1780-1820, one that espoused hard work, disinterested leadership, and ostentatious patriotism to justify its place of privilege. On the other, the democratic nature of associated charities afforded subscribers practical political experience, including Britons without the public franchise. This experience mobilized thousands of Britons to address national issues and in the process facilitated the social and political integration of the British nation.

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