THIS WAS ONLY A CENTURY AGO: Living Freely in England a Century Ago. A memorable observation from A.J.P. Taylor:
Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. … broadly speaking, the state acted only to help those who could not help themselves. It left the adult citizen alone.