William Cobbett

William Cobbett was at various times a soldier, a farmer, a radical activist and politician, and a journalist. He believed that reforming parliament and it's corrupt apportioning of constituencies would help end the poverty of farm laborers, and he attacked the system relentlessly. Early in his career, he was a loyalist supporter of king and country, but he later joined and successfully publicized the radical movement that led to the important Reform Bill of 1832 and to his winning a parliamentary seat. Through the seeming contradictions of Cobbett's life, two things remained constant: an opposition to authority and a suspicion of novelty. He wrote many polemics on subjects from political reform to religion, but he is best known for his 1830 book Rural Rides, which is still in print today.

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