State and Market in Victorian Britain

State and Market in Victorian Britain

War, Welfare and Capitalism

Martin Daunton


Boydell Press



Traces the effects and consequences of radical economic change, moral, social, and fiscal, in the Victorian period.
In the course of the nineteenth century, the economic structure and policies of Britain were remade, as the costs of the "fiscal-military" state which fought successful wars against France were cut, and monopolies gave way to free trade, while monetary policy was determined by the automatic operation of the gold standard. However, the result was not, as might be expected, the triumph of laissez faire; there was continued concern about the moral and social consequences of economic change. In this magisterial collection, Professor MARTIN DAUNTON looks at the connections between state and market in this period, and the ways in which all society was affected. He argues that central to the politics of Victorian Britain was determining where the line should be drawn between private profit and social costs - a task that implicated the courts and politicians in defining the nature of capitalist society. The outcome was not determined by "gentlemanly capitalists" comprising landowners and financiers who dominated the state and denied a voice to industrialists and their workers. Rather, the choices reflected the interplay between all interests, including those of the state itself.

MARTIN DAUNTON is Master of Trinity Hall and Professor of Economic History at the University of Cambridge.


June 2008
352 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843833833
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

"Gentlemanly Capitalism" and British Industry, 1820-1914
Inheritance and Succession in the City of London in the nineteenth century
Firm and Family in the City of London: the case of F G Dalgety
Britain and Globalization: creating a global order, 1850-1914
The fiscal-military state and the Napoleonic wars
Trusting leviathan: the politics of taxation 1815-1914
Taxation and representation in the Victorian city
The material politics of natural monopoly: gas in Victorian Britain
Tax transfers: Britain and its empire
Payment and participation: welfare and state formation in Britain, 1900-195 0
Mutuality and state formation: Britain and the United States, c1890-1940


For anyone interested in the flow of state power between different levels and domains, there are few better places from which to set out than this rich, stimulating book. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

It is impossible to do justice to this rich and stimulating book by some sort of simple summary, but one consequence of its richness and complexity is that it will be attractive to readers outside of British history. (...) This is a very cheering book. It is based on detailed studies using detailed evidence and, as its critical apparatus shows, a wide reading of the detailed scholarship on all of the questions with which it is concerned. It is the sort of book that enlightens as it stimulates and causes us to raise further questions that Daunton and others can turn to with keen eagerness. JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY

This book gives us an extraordinary example of the best ways to write and think about the economy - its history, complexity, institutions, values, and ideas - at both the micro and macro levels. VICTORIAN STUDIES
This book, then, should be read both for its powerful analysis of the dynamics of the Victorian state, providing an important perspective on almost all major issues in understanding Victorian society, but also as a major contribution to undermining the narrative of decline which still encumbers so much of the historiography of modern Britain. REVIEWS IN HISTORY
Will be of interest to all kinds of professional historians, many of whom will find it useful to have Daunton's thoughts collected here. JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIEST