State form, social order and the social sciences: urban space and politico-economic systems 1760–1850

Firth, Ann (2003) State form, social order and the social sciences: urban space and politico-economic systems 1760–1850. Journal of Historical Sociology, 16 (1). pp. 54-79. ISSN 0952-1909


In The Pristine Culture of Capitalism, Ellen Wood argues that the English urban landscape is characterised by lack of elegance, absence of charm and neglect of public services. She traces the origins of this impoverishment to the eradication of pre-industrial capitalist urban culture in the eighteenth century. The paper investigates the claim that English urban culture underwent a significant transformation in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth century. A concern with the public magnificence of London as a means of representing the wealth and power of England
is characteristic of eighteenth century treatise on urban improvement. The most influential of which, John Gwynn’s London and Westminster Improved, published in 1766, draws upon the spatial linkage of economy, government and power typical of mercantilist thought. The paper argues that as the principles and practices of mercantilism were displaced by the spread of industrial capitalism and the liberal state, a concern with grandeur, elegance and embellishment in urban form was subordinated to the provision of the physical and social infrastructure necessary for the reproduction of labour

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No author version held.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2010 12:19
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: mercantilism; capitalism; taxation; commerce; working class; industrial revolution
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1604 Human Geography > 160401 Economic Geography
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210305 British History
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160505 Economic Development Policy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940108 Distribution of Income and Wealth
B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9102 Microeconomics > 910202 Human Capital Issues
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1046/j.0952-1909.2003.00221.x

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