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Thompson: The Making of the English Working Class: What happens in this passage?

One of the main reasons why historians find it difficult to get a clear picture of working class attitudes from the sources is that working class people deliberately kept their communications secret. Such was the hostility between the classes at the time that two separate cultures had established themselves and magistrate found it very difficult to get any sort of information out of the working classes. As a result the judicial records which historians have to rely upon heavily are full of examples of working class activity seen by middle class informants in the most damaging light possible, often based on gossip or hearsay.


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