Laissez-Faire and State Intervention: Social Management

  • Neil Tonge
  • Michael Quincey
Part of the Documents and Debates book series (DD)


The King’s ministers in early nineteenth-century Britain were in no doubt about their brief to govern: rule rather than legislate. They had to manage the affairs of monarchy, see to the defence of the realm, conduct foreign affairs, create revenue and enable local officials to maintain the peace, providing the necessary stability for society to function as it always had done. This was the mantle handed down by the Augustan Age, one which had grown heavier through preceding eras. It was a mantle which fitted well with the political suit of clothes fashioned in the style of laissez-faire philosophy.


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Further reading

  1. Asa Briggs, Victorian Cities (1968);Google Scholar
  2. E. C. Midwinter, Victorian Social Reform (1968);Google Scholar
  3. D. Roberts, Victorian Origins of the Welfare State (1960);Google Scholar
  4. J. B. Brebner, ‘Laissez-faire and state intervention in nineteenth-century Britain’, Journal of Economic History, 8, (1948);Google Scholar
  5. A.J. Taylor, Laissez-faire and State Intervention in Nineteenth-century Britain (1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Neil Tonge and Michael Quincey 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Tonge
  • Michael Quincey

There are no affiliations available

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