1819: Wage Labour, Taxation, and the Poor

  • Barry Gordon


This analysis of the economic content of parliamentary debate commences at a point marked by the assembly of a new House of Commons after a general election. During the year, David Ricardo joined the House to consolidate and extend the impact on policy making which he had exerted already through his publications. A third feature of our starting point is the onset of economic depression in a seemingly new and virulent form, a development which destroyed the promise of continuing prosperity which the revival of the British economy from the second half of 1817 had appeared to offer.


Political Economy Minimum Wage Child Labour Wage Earner Parliamentary Debate 
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  1. 1.
    The reasons for the non-viability of the Whigs are detailed in Austin Mitchell, The Whigs in Opposition, 1815–1830 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    On Sharp (1759–1835), see Lloyd Sanders, The Holland House Circle (New York and London: Bloom, 1969).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    These statistics are derived from Gerrit P. Judd IV, Members of Parliament, 1734–1832 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    W. Bagehot, Collected Works, 3 (London: The Economist, 1968) 268.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
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  7. 9.
    See, e.g., Thomas Sowell, Say’s Law (Princeton University Press, 1972)Google Scholar
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  10. 17.
    E. Halévy, The Liberal Awakening, 1815–1830 (London: Benn, 1961) 46.Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    For a comprehensive treatment of the debate on the poor laws, both inside and outside parliament at this time, see J. R. Poynter, Society and Pauperism: English Ideas on Poor Relief, 1795–1834 (Melbourne University Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  12. 32.
    Concerning the abolition of the income tax and the serious long term consequences of that step for fiscal policy, see Sydney Buxton, Finance and Politics; an Historical Study, 1783–1885 I (London: Murray, 1888) 12–5.Google Scholar
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  15. 33.
    For a thorough study of this aspect of Ricardian thought consult Carl S. Shoup, Ricardo on Taxation (N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 1960).Google Scholar
  16. 35.
    See Spencer Walpole, The Life of Lord John Russell, 2 vols (N.Y.: Greenwood Press, 1968).Google Scholar
  17. 41.
    For detail, consult Wilbur D. Jones, Prosperity Robinson: the life of Viscount Goderich, 1782–1859 (London: Macmillan, 1967).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Barry Gordon 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NewcastleAustralia

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