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Cover

The Financial System in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Edited by Mary Poovey

Publication Date - December 2002

ISBN: 9780195150575

400 pages
Paperback
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $57.95

Description

Featuring primary documents drawn from the Victorian era's business and periodical press, this anthology provides an introduction to the most important features of the financial system in nineteenth-century Britain. Topics covered include currency and credit instruments; the national debt and the stock exchange; banks and the banking system; and the money market, company law, and financial fraud. The documents represent a variety of perspectives, including working-class radicals' complaints about the burden the national debt imposed on the poor, Indian economists' warnings about how debt was impoverishing India, political economists' celebrations of "magic" capital, and satirists' exposures of the frauds perpetrated by nefarious swindlers and company promoters. Most of the selections are reproduced in their entirety so that readers can see how closely financial matters were intertwined with the politics, ethics, and literary concerns of the period. An introduction by the editor and a chronology of the British financial system help place the materials in their historical context.
Ideal for courses in Victorian literature, culture, and history, The Financial System in Nineteenth-Century Britain will also interest general readers who have been puzzled by references to financial matters in writings of the period. This unique collection reveals how England rose to a position of international financial supremacy and how writing about finance both monitored and supported that triumph.

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Chronology of the British Financial System
    Introduction
    ONE. CURRENCY AND CREDIT INSTRUMENTS
    1. Coins and Credit Instruments
    William Cobbett, Paper against Gold (1810)
    J. R. McCulloch, Substitution of Notes for Coins
    Distinction between Bills of Exchange and Paper Money (1832)
    George Rae, Bills of Exchange (1885)
    2. Counterfeit Coins
    Sidney Laman Blanchard, A Biography of a Bad Shilling (1851)
    3. Money
    Robert H. Patterson, Gold and Social Politics (1863)
    Henry Sidgwick, What Is Money? (1879)
    Ali Ameer, The Rupee and the Ruin of India (1893)
    TWO. THE NATIONAL DEBT AND THE STOCK EXCHANGE
    4. History and Magnitude of the Debt
    Anonymous, Facts for Enquirers: The National Debt (1843)
    W. E. Aytoun, The National Debt and the Stock Exchange (1849)
    5. Investment and Speculation
    Anon., Stockbroking and the Stock Exchange (1876)
    Alexander Innes Shand, Speculative Investments (1876)
    6. International Implications
    Walter Bagehot, The Singularity of Indian Finance (1872)
    Henry Fawcett, The Financial Condition of India (1878)
    Karl Marx, The Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist (1867)
    THREE. BANKS AND BANKING
    7. Principles of Banking
    James William Gilbart, Ten Minutes' Advice about Keeping a Banker (1839)
    R. J. Richardson, Exposure of the Banking and Funding System (1841)
    Anon., The Bank Charter and Commercial Credit (1858)
    A. J. Wilson, The Position of English Joint-Stock Banks (1878)
    George Rae, Personal Credit (1885)
    8. Money Pressure and Bank Failures
    The London Times: 13 December 1825, p. 2
    The London Times: 14 December 1825, p. 2
    James William Gilbart, The Administration of a Bank during Seasons of Pressure (1882)
    FOUR. THE MONEY MARKET, COMPANY LAW, AND FINANCIAL FRAUD
    9. The Money Market
    D. Morier Evans, The State of the Money Market from a Fresh Point of View (1864)
    Walter Bagehot, The Money Market, No. 1: What the Money Market Is and Why It Is So Changeable (1866)
    10. Company Law and Financial Fraud
    D. Morier Evans, Whither Is Limited Liability Leading Us? (1864)
    Walter Bagehot, The Panic (1866)
    Laurence Oliphant, The Autobiography of a Joint-Stock Company (Limited) (1876)
    Glossary
    Contributor's Biographies
    Suggestions for Further Reading
    Index