Birmingham nonconformists, significant in number if not in class status, were responsible for making the city a pioneer in physical training in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They resisted, eventually successfully, military control of drill despite increasing national anxiety over the growing economic and military power of Germany and the associated perceived threat of war between ‘Anglo-Saxon' and ‘Teuton'. The city has a vision: physical training for all as a means of ensuring good health for all rather than simply for natural survival. It was a laudable, neorenaissance, humanistic approach in modern, capitalist, industrial commercial circumstances.
- ideological combat
- pioneering female physical education
- physical training
- Birmingham nonconformity
- physical fitness