Institutions of the bourgeois public sphere and new technologies
in The British Empire through buildings
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The nineteenth century was the era of the massive expansion of the middle classes. This became a global phenomenon and the ‘bourgeoisification’ of the world called into being a whole range of institutions that were being created contemporaneously in Britain itself. These included libraries, museums, clubs, markets, banks, commercial buildings, hotels, theatres and cinemas. The new technologies of the age were served by striking buildings, including dockside waiting rooms, railway stations and posts and telegraph offices. Railway stations spread across almost the entire empire and introduced new issues of class and racial zoning. Posts and telegraphs were representative of the new communications of the era and often stimulated the building of exceptionally impressive structures to represent their centrality in the new imperial age.

The British Empire through buildings

Structure, function and meaning


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