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

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203575.001.0001

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(p.290) Conclusion
Entrepreneurial Politics in Mid-Victorian Britain

G. R. Searle

Oxford University Press

Entrepreneurial Radicalism ultimately failed in its mission, and Richard Cobden and John Bright lived long enough to discern this melancholy truth. Meanwhile, some historians claim, nothing had come from the attempts of the old Anti-Corn Law League leaders to find the ‘big idea’ that would sustain their campaign against the aristocracy. Financial reform, parliamentary reform, and the freehold purchase movement were all broached — without much success. As for the involvement of Cobden and Bright in the peace movement, this not only lacked popular support but was also repudiated by most of their one-time middle-class followers. Since no other middle-class politicians were prepared to take their place, entrepreneurial politics quickly ran into the sands.

Keywords:   class politics, entrepreneurial Radicals, Richard Cobden, John Bright, Anti-Corn Law League, aristocracy, entrepreneurial politics, financial reform, freehold purchase movement, parliamentary reform

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