This book is about continuity and change in early nineteenth-century Britain. Against the background of an emerging industrial state, the popularization of liberal laissez-faire principles and the rise of a class-based society, it examines the revival of traditional paternal ideals and considers their influence upon the development of social policy. The poor laws, social distress, child labour and factory reform provide a focus for the analysis. The implications of the revival for the emergence of the collective or welfare state is an important theme.

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