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Men, Women, and MoneyPerspectives on Gender, Wealth, and Investment 1850-1930$
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David R. Green, Alastair Owens, Josephine Maltby, and Janette Rutterford

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199593767

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593767.001.0001

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The Evidence for ‘Democratization’ of Share Ownership in Great Britain in the Early Twentieth Century

The Evidence for ‘Democratization’ of Share Ownership in Great Britain in the Early Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.184) Chapter 8 The Evidence for ‘Democratization’ of Share Ownership in Great Britain in the Early Twentieth Century
Source:
Men, Women, and Money
Author(s):

Josephine Maltby

Janette Rutterford

David R. Green

Steven Ainscough

Carien van Mourik

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593767.003.0008

Although there is general consensus that share ownership increased in Britain from the late nineteenth century onwards, less attention has been paid to the extent to which this increase reflected a change in the social class of shareholders. In the early twentieth century, there was a frequent claim that increased ownership resulted from the democratization of share purchase. The chapter investigates the evidence for this, examining the growth in savings banks’ deposits, the wide take-up of War Savings during the First World War, and the promotion of employee share ownership. These influences, and contemporary comments, provide a context for the study of the social class of shareholders in a number of UK companies. The chapter concludes that democratization did not take place, and that share ownership rather reflected the growth in popularity of more diversified investment portfolios during the period under review.

Keywords:   democratization, share ownership, savings, employee share ownership, war loan, HISCO, Britain, nineteenth century, twentieth century

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