or inappropriate banking structure. The debate over monetary policy is also more complicated than a simple neglect of industry in order to benefit the financial interests of the City. Resumption was intended, in fact, to check the power of financiers and the Bank, and to benefit genuine trade and enterprise at the expense of speculation and 'fictitious capital'. Of course, intention is not the same as outcome, for the distinction between genuine and fictitious capital was never clear-cut. The debate over banking policy was part of a wider concern for economic policy after the Napoleonic wars which involved a complicated interplay between monetary policy, taxation, and protection. The government's policy was designed to maintain balance in the economy, in the belief that long-term growth was not feasible; it was concerned that the growing population should be fed, and was worried about subsistence. The danger was that policy might be pushed in the direction of supporting the class interests of landowners against industry and workers, by sustaining high food prices through the corn laws, and by rejecting the income tax in 1816, which made the fiscal regime much more regressive. The debate over these policies was at the heart of British politics until the repeal of the corn laws in 1846, and the consensus on tax policy which emerged in the early 1850s.
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Publication information: Book title: Progress and Poverty:An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1700-1850. Contributors: M. J. Daunton - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 358.
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