In the political and economic view of the colonial periodicals, the transcendent ideology of Progress, both moral and material, was the basis of all rhetoric. Politics and political issues were often a staple of the British periodical press in the first half of the nineteenth century. The strenuous political opposition to Catholic Emancipation, to removal of Jewish civil disabilities, and to de facto support of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland was based on a conception of British national identity as essentially Protestant with Protestantism as a transcendent ideology. Any movement toward democracy would only contribute to political instability and potentially threaten the monarchy. Despite the rapid increase in manufacturing, urbanization, and industrialization, many Britons still adhered to the belief that Great Britain was an agricultural nation rightly dominated by the landed aristocracy. The colonial periodicals had much to say about British policy toward the aboriginal population. The periodical press engaged these issues and shaped them for their readers.