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Morality and the Market in Victorian Britain - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Morality and the Market in Victorian Britain

G. R. Searle


In this lively and interesting study, the author tackles the conundrum at the heart of Victorian life: how could capitalist values be harmonized with Christian beliefs and with concepts of public morality and social duty? Middle-class Victorians who broadly welcomed industrial growth and embraced the doctrines of ‘political economy’ were sensitive to the charge that theirs was a selfish and materialistic creed. Consequently, if public morality was to be reconciled with the market, wage-labour had to be distinguished from slavery, investment from speculation, and entrepreneurial acumen from dis ... More

Keywords: social duty, capitalism, Christian beliefs, Victorian life, industrial growth, political economy, citizenship, free market forces

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1998 Print ISBN-13: 9780198206989
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206989.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

G. R. Searle, author
University of East Anglia