Women, finance and credit in England, c.1780-1826
Wiskin, Christine (2000) Women, finance and credit in England, c.1780-1826. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1368635~S1
Credit may mean both a way of doing business and the reputation of the
individuals transacting it. Both aspects are explored in this thesis. Access to
sources of finance for business and the ways in which trade credit transactions
took place are amongst the economic issues examined. The cultural aspects of
credit, such as trust, personal standing and the language in which this was
expressed, adherence to, or deviation from, socially acceptable standards of
behaviour, are discussed. Credit is used as a tool of analysis to investigate
orthodoxies about women's use of it for business purposes. Small-scale
capitalism, with its specific objectives of industrious independence and
economic individualism centring on the family firm, provides the organising
concept and the explanation for how and why women from the middle ranks of
society ran businesses during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Findings, based on the business activities and trade credit transactions of
women resident in, or conducting business in, the English West Midlands, reveal
their greater participation in the economic community than has been recognised
hitherto. Furthermore, they indicate that trade credit transactions between men
and women regarding the new consumer goods and services of the first
industrial revolution were not an arena for the working out of gender politics.
Women belonged to mixed-sex business networks where they were judged, as
men were, on the punctuality of their payments and the honouring of their
As a result, the limitations of the existing historiography are shown.
Arguments for a specifically female type of credit negotiated between women
principally for domestic purposes or that women with capital restricted their
economic activity to investment to provide for their non-working existence do
not do justice to the 'middling sort' businesswomen whose contribution to the
processes of industrialisation is now recognised in this work.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HG Finance|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Businesswomen -- England -- West Midlands -- History -- 18th century, Businesswomen -- England -- West Midlands -- History -- 19th century, Credit -- England -- West Midlands -- History -- 18th century, Credit -- England -- West Midlands -- History -- 19th century|
|Official Date:||June 2000|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of History|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Berg, Maxine, 1950- ; Lewis, Gwynne|
|Sponsors:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC) (R00429634128)|
|Extent:||vii, 332 leaves|
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