Early life and military career: He also worked briefly as a gardener at Kew in the King's garden.
The son of a small farmer and innkeeper in Farnham, Surrey.
Of humble background, William Cobbett had few prospects in his youth. By chance, Cobbett found work as a copy clerk in London in earlybut abandoned it a few months later to enlist in the British army.
Cobbett availed himself during lulls in his garrison Essays by william cobbett Clapham to educate himself and began to delve deeply into English literature. Cobbett's regiment returned to England inand the very next year, after earning his discharge, Cobbett published the Soldier's Friend a damning indictment of army's inner workings, the corruption of officers and mistreatment of enlisted soldiers.
To avoid trouble, Cobbett moved to France inand witnessed the violent shift in the fledgling revolution. The onset of war and the September massacres prompted his departure for the United States later that same year. For the next few years, Cobbett made a slim living as a tutor and translator in Philadelphia.
An anonymous pamphlet on the emigration of Joseph Priestley brought him some degree of celebrity. Cobbett set up a bookstore and monthly, The Censor in Philadelphia inbut it folded after a few numbers.
He also saw fit to comment on the American politics, aligning himself with the federalists. His outspoken politics and scurrilous articles quickly earned him some local enemies.
After losing a couple of lawsuits for libel in Pennsylvania courts, Cobbett moved to the more solidly federalist New York and launched a new monthly, The Rush-light.
William Cobbett returned to England inand was given a warm welcome by Tories who had been following his tracts from overseas. With financial support from Tory luminaries, Cobbett published a collected edition of his American writings and launched a daily, The Porcupine, but it folded after a year.
He also opened a bookstore in London, which also did not last very long. In January ,Cobbett launched the Political Register, a long-lasting weekly newsletter that he edited almost continuously from to InWilliam Cobbet began publishing his most enduring work, his monumental Parliamentary History of England, compiling detailed accounts of the proceedings of the English parliament from its beginnings in onwards.
Cobbett's work has become the authoritative record of parliamentary history taken over by T. Hansard afterand continued until the modern day. His similarly impressive history of State Trials began being published in Although Tory by inclination, Cobbett nonetheless soon soured and denounced many of the policies pursued by the Tory governments that ruled Britain through much of this period.
Cobbett soon became more identified with the Radicals. He ran for parliament but lost in on a radical parliamentary reform ticket. In economics, William Cobbett's principal claim to fame is his participation in the debate on underconsumption.
In latehe reviewed the recent treatise of William Spence and endorsed its conclusions in a series of articles entitled "Perish Commerce! Among other schemes he promoted were the repudiation of the national debt and the abolition of most taxation.
InCobbett was arrested and convicted for libel, and spent two years in Newgate Prison. It is during this period that he wrote his pamphlets against money, calling for the resumption of gold currency and the dissolution of the Bank of England.
After his release, although financially ruined, Cobbett continued publishing, using the Political Register to rally opposition to the Corn Laws and denouncing the slavery abolition movement. Infearing renewed arrest for libel, Cobbett fled to the United States Yorkshire printer Thomas Wooler took charge of publishing Cobbett's Political Register in his absence.
Cobbett tried setting himself up as a farmer in Long Island, New York, and published a few works on agriculture, but found it bored him, and returned to England in At the time, England was caught in a depression, and the cause of parliamentary reform had caught fire.
He also took up the cudgels for Catholic Emancipation, writing a vitriolic history of the abuses of the Reformation. Inhe published his Advice to Young Men, condemning Malthus 's population theory.
Cobbett's agitation culminated in the Rural War, where he condoned the violent Luddite Swing Riots that had rocked the English countryside in This earned him another arrest for seditious libel inbut he defended himself and was acquitted. After the Parliamentary reform bill finally passed inCobbett finally won a parliamentary seat for Oldham and was a leading agitator for Poor Law reform which passed in Cobbett died a year later, in June Major Works of William Cobbett The Soldier's Friend or, considerations on the late pretended augmentation of the subsistance of the private soldiers, [ bk ] [Anon] Observations on the emigration of Dr.
Joseph Priestley, and on the several addresses delivered to him, on his arrival at New-York, [ bk ] [2nd ed ] [3rd ed av ] [Peter Porcupine] A History of American Jacobins, commonly denominated democrats, [ Repr. Playfair, The History of Jacobinism, its crimes, cruelties and perfidies].
By the help of which, wayward and disaffected Britons may see a complete specimen of the baseness, dishonesty, ingratitude, and perfidy of republicans, and of the profligacy, injustice, and tyranny of republican governments, [ online ] Porcupine's Works:Cobbett's 'Legacy To Labourers', It is just fifty years since William Cobbett published his Legacy to Labourers, so-called, as he himself tells us, because he wished the book, after.
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Essay on The Dictator who Was Augusto Pinochet; Who Was William Cobbett? Essay Words | 6 Pages. Who Was William Cobbett? Today, if you were to mention the name, “William Cobbett,” to a group of people, the majority of them would have no idea who you were talking about.
It’s hard to believe that he was once the Federalists’ more. Essays and criticism on William Cobbett - Criticism. SOURCE: A review of Cobbett's Political Register, in The Edinburgh Review, Vol.
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1 Hazlitt's "On The Character Of Cobbett" is to be found in Table Talk, Essays on Men and Manners (). 2 Here Hazlitt refers to Tom Cribb (), the English prize fighter, a person in whom Hazlitt had an interest; see, Hazlitt's celebrated essay, " The Fight.".