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Entrepreneurial Politics in Mid-Victorian Britain - G. R. Searle

Entrepreneurial Politics in Mid-Victorian Britain

Hardcover Published: 25th March 1993
ISBN: 9780198203575
Number Of Pages: 368

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Historians have long debated the issue of why Britain did not experience a 'middle-class revolution'. In the mid-Victorian years, in the aftermath of the Great Reform Act and the repeal of the Corn Laws, it seemed that a decisive shift of power from the aristocracy to the middle class might take place.
In this perceptive and original book, G. R. Searle shows how many MPs from business backgrounds, the so-called 'entrepreneurial Radicals', came to Westminster determined to impose their own values and priorities on national life. Some wanted to return public manufacturing establishments to private ownership; others hoped to create an 'educational market'. Nearly all of them worried about how best to safeguard the truths of political economy should the franchise be extended to the propertyless masses. Their partial successes and many failures helped determine the political culture of modern Britain.

`he makes extensive and intelligent use of recent detailed studies, supplemented by an array of archives ... Few of Searle's conclusions are surprising, but the debate is conducted in a consistently vigorous, challenging, and informative manner from which many general readers, as well as business historians, will benefit' Business History `This fine book ... sheds much valuable light on the complex connections between businessmen and politics in modern Britain. ...important, fascinating and highly original book' David Cannadine, Observer `Searle is able to inject a freshness and originality into familiar debates partly because of the particular point of view from which he is writing, partly because of the amount of new material he has found in unpublished papers, Blue Books and periodicals ...deserves to be read even by those who have no specialist qualifications ... is one of Searles's many merits that he has drawn a credible picture of the Victorian manufacturers not as a class apart, but as one coloured by the characteristics of their own society.' Norman Gash, The Times Literary Supplement 'lucid sifting of the policy arguments of the 1850s and 1860s' London Review of Books 'Although a thorough academic study there are insights and lessons that are of value for those concerned with how society is changing today, and what is likely to happen in the next century.' Long Range Planning, Vol. 27, April 1994 `he makes extensive and intelligent use of recent detailed studies, supplemented by an array of archives ... Few of Searle's conclusions are surprising, but the debate is conducted in a consistently vigorous, challenging, and informative manner from which many general readers, as well as business historians, will benefit' Business History `Searle's delineation of the tensions that divided Victorian industrialists from each other and from those above them makes an important contribution to the historiography of class relations in the Victorian age. His analysis of the entrepreneurial attitudes to taxation and administrative reform in the Crimean War years is also excellent.' Journal of Modern History `In this finely crafted work, G. R. Searle offers an insightful analysis of English politics from the perspective of the "entrepreneurial Radicals," ... Searle, a political historian, has broken new ground with the body of his work by exploring the modernization of British political life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Searle's book does a fine service by highlighting the political tensions that were always near the surface in mid-Victorian Britain ... For business historians, a book such as this one is a challenge to look beyond the firm, to explore the complex role of business people in society ... Searle's book adds an important dimension to business history bu revealing some of the ways in whch industrial captalism had begun to alter the social and political landscape of Great Britain in the mid-19th century.' Peter Botticelli, Harvard Business School, Business History Review

Introductionp. 1
Class Politics in the 1840sp. 17
Financial Reform, 1848-1853p. 51
The Crimean War and Administrative Reformp. 89
The Primacy of Palmerston? 1855-1865p. 126
The Development of Commercial Politics, 1850-1870p. 166
Parliamentary Reformp. 202
The Problem of Educationp. 236
The Labour Problemp. 271
Conclusionp. 290
Bibliographyp. 322
Indexp. 338
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198203575
ISBN-10: 0198203578
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 25th March 1993
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.39
Weight (kg): 0.75