The Waning of "Old Corruption": The Politics of Economical Reform in Britain, 1779-1846

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Most historians of Britain now take for granted that a narrow and mostly landed elite managed to retain its social supremacy throughout much of the nineteenth century. But as yet, there is no throrough explanation for the persistence of the old elite's political authority in an age when that authority was seriously questioned by many Britons. In this original study, Philip Harling furnishes an important part of this explanation. He argues that the mostly Pittite governing elite helped to allay the suspicions of parasitism at the root of the familiar critique of 'Old Corruption' by responding to intense pressure to sanitize government.

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Philip Harling is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Kentucky.

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it is the most careful, scholarly, and disinterested look to date at what William Cobbett famously and unforgettably called 'Old Corruption'./ ... Harling's is the first systematic study of its extent and, more especially, its demise. IThe Waning of 'Old Corruption'I is best read, I think, as a study in the making of the famously frugal, relatively pure, mid-Victorian state./ Harling's meticulously researched and elegantly written study raises a number of interesting questions. * Noel Thompson, University of Wales, Swansea, BJECS 20.2 (1997) * Philip Harling's important book is ... timely ... excellent study which will take its place as the point of departure for future work on the subject. * R. Arthur Burns, King's College, London, Parliamentary History 16/3 *

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THE WANING OF `OLD CORRUPTION' THE POLITICS OF ECONOMICAL REFORM IN BRITAIN, 1779-1846 (HARDBACK) -
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