- Christopher Harvie
- and H. C. G. Matthew
‘Free Trade: An Industrial Economy Rampant’ looks at the attitudes and the make-up of British society from the 1850s to the 1870s. Free Trade became the consensus view of all the political parties. The 1851 census revealed the urban, industrial and non-Anglican character of England, something reflected in the liberal politics of the time. Removal of the stamp duties led to an explosion in the liberal press. Only when franchise reform was passed in 1867 was Tory government possible again, although this did not challenge the prevailing Free Trade orthodoxy of the period. Britain enjoyed an economic boom, which saw the economy become the most powerful in the world.