Transcript of "A Dangerous Fortune- A Book Review"
A Dangerous Fortune KEN FOLLET
The setting: London, BritainTerrain: Low hills and plains.Climate: Hot and humid in summers and cold in winters.Geography: borders Staines, Dartford, Watford, Saint Albans, Slough, Brentwood.
Industrial RevolutionThe Industrial Revolution, one of the most vital periods of change in Great Britain, occurred because of the stable economic, social, and political stance of the country, as well as brought lasting effects in Britain in each of these areas. With its fast growing monopoly on ocean trade, its renewed interest in scientific discovery, and its system of national banks holding tight to its financial security, Britain was, at the time of the Industrial Revolution, ripe for change.
Due to its sturdy financial and economic conditions, Great Britain was the leading figure in the Industrial Revolution. First of all, its domination of the seas via a strong military force gave it control of ocean transportation and trade. Ongoing British trade of tobacco, sugar, tea, and slaves internationally was largely a result of this control. Secondly, Britain’s national banking system provided it with capital from investments and a surplus of finances for which to use in commerce on the international scale.
The positive outcomes of the Industrial Revolution rivaled the damage of its more negative effects. Britain obtained much capital from its many new international trading ventures with major nations, all largely dealing with the exchange of new and improved industrial machinery. Thus, Great Britain grew to become the most powerful manufacturing nation and the strongest economically, in all of Europe. As Britain’s incoming finances grew and increased, citizens were able to move up the rungs of the social class ladder in British society, thus improving their financial and educational statuses.
PoliticsThough every other aspect of British life in the 19th century was transformed by industrial, social and cultural development, the countrys rulers seemed somehow to avoid the mistakes of their continental counterparts. When Britain was at the peak of its imperial power at the end of the 19th century, historians charted the countrys rise to greatness over the preceding hundred years or so. They were inclined to stress British genius for avoiding fundamental conflict between classes and social groups, and the countrys ability to manage evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, political change.
During the winter of 1831-32, the nation stood on a knife-edge. In the spring, the Lords showed signs of renewed recalcitrance, and the King, as a desperation measure, invited the Duke of Wellington back to form a government. In response, reform leaders made plans to bring the country to a halt by having their supporters withdraw funds from the banks, using the slogan: To stop the Duke, go for Gold.The crisis was averted. The Lords backed down and the Reform Bill was passed.
Historians will always debate might-have-beens and no one can prove things one way or the other. However, the potential for revolution in 1831-32 is clear. Public support for parliamentary reform had never been greater. Outside London, no professional police force was in place and the mechanisms of control available to the authorities were old- fashioned and creaky. There was as yet no railway network to move troops rapidly to areas that were out of control. Revolutions have been mounted elsewhere on less.
EconomyDuring the 19th century possessed a dominant role in the global economy. From the late 19th century the Second Industrial Revolution in the United States and the German Empire presented an increasing challenge to Britains role as leader of the global economy. Despite victory, the costs of fighting both the First World War and Second World War further weakened the relative economic position of the UK, and by 1945 Britain had been superseded by the United States as the worlds dominant economic power. However the UK still maintains a significant role in the world economy.
In the latter decades of the 19th century, when the ultimate control and direction of large industry came into the hands of financiers, industrial capitalism gave way to financial capitalism and the corporation.
Long-term economic trends led Britain, and to a lesser extent, other industrialising nations such as the United States and Germany, to be more receptive to the desires of prospective overseas investment. Through their investments in industry, banks were able to exert a great deal of control over the British economy and politics. Cut- throat competition in the mid-19th century caused the creation of super corporations and conglomerates. Many companies borrowed heavily to achieve the vast sums of money required to take over their rivals, resulting in a new capitalist stage of development.By the 1870s, financial houses in London had achieved an unprecedented level of control over industry.
How does it relate? In the beginning of A Dangerous Fortune, we get to know that the banks in Britain are failing and Britain is facing an economical downfall and many working people are left jobless. America is now the leading country in the world at the moment. In the later half, the Pilaster Bank is closed like several other banks around the country but unlike other banks this bank gives the money back to it’s people instead of refusing it.
JudaismJudaism is an Abrahamic religion -- a faith which recognizes Abraham as a Patriarch. Others includeChristianity Islam, and the Bahai Faith. Although Jews comprise only about 0.2% of the human race, Jewish influence on the world has been vast -- far more than their numbers would indicate.
MethodismMethodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide.[
Racial ConflictIn the 19th century, the majority race in London is of Christians and minorities are the Jews. The Christians have a hostile attitude towards the Jews and are not letting them have any important positions in the social circle. They are degraded as much as possible.
Characters Hugh- The odd one in the Pilaster family and the main character. Augusta- A sly woman interested in getting as much wealthy as she can. Edward- Augusta’s son, who is Hugh’s elder cousin but does not has interests in banking. He does what his mother and his friend Micky says. Micky- Edward’s friend who uses murder and blackmail to gain his family a good position and eventually is one of the main reasons why Pilaster Bank failed.
Essential Questions in daybook Is it right to get in a person’s personal life? Is it right to decide what a person deserves and steer someone’s life the way you want to? Is friendship about deceiving each other and taking benefits from each other? Is it appropriate to not speak aloud when injustice is being to someone in front of you? Are power and wealth the most important things a person should go after?
Made by Kashaf Asim and Lowaisa Ayesha Farooqui
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