Was There an Age of Laissez-faire?
WHAT continuing validity is there, therefore, in the notion of an age of laissez-faire? The answer must turn at least in part on the particular meaning which is attached to the term. The more rigid the definition and the wider the field of reference, the less plausible is the idea of an age of laissez-faire; the looser the definition and the narrower the area of application, the more justifiable does the use of the concept become. To give fuller content to this generalisation it is necessary to approach the concept of an age of laissez-faire through the eyes of four different types of historian — the historian of ideas, the historian of institutions, the social historian and the economic historian.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.