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Judging New WealthPopular Publishing and Responses to Commerce in England, 1750–1800$
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James Raven

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202370.001.0001

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Historical Perspectives

Historical Perspectives

(p.249) 12 Historical Perspectives
Judging New Wealth

James Raven

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the discussions in the preceding chapters. It argues that anti-business prejudices were created by middle class literature that offered instruction and reassurance about changes in a developing capitalistic society. Underlying the increased emphasis on status in England in the late 18th century were fears of the possible deprivation of new ‘decencies’ amidst growing numbers seeking to legitimize financial and social improvement. Print developed and fixed shared attitudes by and for an emergent and increasingly affluent sector of society. What emerges is not only the reactions of consumers to new consumption patterns and of credit-holders and credit-seekers to new financial relationships, but the role of print in creating, packaging, and reinforcing class attitudes and antagonisms.

Keywords:   businessmen, tradesmen, books, publications, middle class, status, class attitudes, social improvement, literature

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