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.
R. Cameron, "'England, 1750-1844'", in
R. Cameron (ed.), Banking in the Early Stages of
Industrialization: A Study in Comparative Economic History ( New York, 1967), 58; and "'Scotland, 1750-1845'", in ibid., 72.
S. G. Checkland, Scottish Banking: A History, 1695-1973 ( Glasgow, 1973), 115.
R. Cameron, "'Banking and Industrialization in Britain in the Nineteenth Century'", in A. Slaven and
D. H. Aldcroft (eds.), Business, Banking and Urban History ( Edinburgh, 1982), 106; R. Cameron, "'Scotland, 1750-1844'", in
Cameron (ed.), Banking in the Early
Stages of Industrialization, 75.
A. Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (repr. 1937), 281
(book ii, ch. ii).
L. S. Pressnell, Country Banking in the Industrial Revolution ( Oxford, 1956), 6.
C. Munn, "'The Development of Joint-Stock Banking in the British Isles in the
Nineteenth Century: A Comarative Approach'", unpublished paper presented to Economic History Society; M. Collins, Banks and Industrial Finance in Britain, 1800-
1939 ( 1997), 28.
P. Ollerenshaw, "'The Development of Banking in the Bristol Region, 1750-1914'", in C. E. Harvey and
J. Press (eds.), Studies in the Business History of Bristol ( Bristol, 1988); Collins, Banks and Industrial Finance, 28.
Presnell, Country Banking, 77.
R. Fulford, Glyn's, 1753-1953: Six Generations in Lombard Street ( 1953), 59.
M. Collins and
P. Hudson, "'Provincial Bank Lending: Yorkshire and Merseyside,
1826-40'", Bulletin of Economic Research, 31 ( 1979), 77.