That the middle class in Britain in the 19th century had immense financial muscle is not in doubt. However, even the elite also have an elite grouping among themselves. This means that the middle class was in turn broken down into two groupings with one being regarded as big and the other as petty. This class of people had to work out the differences within their own structure. In order for them to gain political and religious rights, they had to work through the difficulty of compromise. While the middle class was working through the differences that they had, there was hostility from the rest of the society. This may have arisen from the need for political and other leadership that would drive the nation in an agreeable way forward. The middle class had to work amidst these disquieting reactions from the other members of the society. There was a major role that culture played as this grouping was able to work towards the establishment of institutions that helped consolidate their position in the society. The urban proletariat and the aristocracy had a determining relationship with the middle class that was the center of focus for the formation of an elite grouping within the middle class itself. The grouping of the elite is often referred to as bourgeoisie by many writers. The relationships that led to the formation of these elite is based on marriages and other sources of social cohesion that aimed to strengthen it amid opposition from other quarters of society. The unifying factor however was the common economic interests as well as other ideological perspectives mainly in matters of religion and politics. The amalgam that formed the elite in the middle class was increasingly being led by the urban-industrial nexus as they seemed to be the most dominant and vocal with experience of having opposed the aristocracy on many levels. Conflicts were very common as varying positions were being taken on an avalanche of matters, religious and political forming the nucleus of these conflicts (John 1977). In the first part of the 19th century, the formation of an English working class was the major emphasis. The second part was characterized by the formation of employers that controlled large numbers of workers. The Middle Class in Urban Britain 1780-1900.
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