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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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The Development of Commercial Politics, 1850–1870

The Development of Commercial Politics, 1850–1870

(p.166) 5 The Development of Commercial Politics, 1850–1870
Entrepreneurial Politics in Mid-Victorian Britain

G. R. Searle

Oxford University Press

In 1860, many of the provincial Chambers of Commerce in Britain decided to form a federation in order to increase the influence of businessmen on Parliament and the government. With the emergence of the Association of Chambers of Commerce (ACC), a new era in entrepreneurial politics had begun. From modest beginnings, the association quickly made its mark on political life, since despite the patchiness of its geographical spread, it had affiliated to it the Chambers of most of the important industrial and commercial areas, particularly in Yorkshire and the Midlands. ACC saw its own role as being ‘a most useful medium of communication between the commercial, manufacturing and trading classes and the government of this country’. This chapter explores the development of commercial politics in Britain from 1850 to 1870, the decimalization issue, the dispute between businessmen and the legal profession, the issue of patents, and limited liability.

Keywords:   Britain, Association of Chambers of Commerce, entrepreneurial politics, Chambers of Commerce, businessmen, decimalization, legal profession, patents, limited liability, commercial politics

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