Land Reform in an Urban Age

Stanley Buder

[Chapter 2 from the book, Visionaries and Planners The Garden City Movement
and the Modern Community
, 1990]

The decade of the 1880s was a watershed in British history and thought as Victorian ideas of progress pushed against the sharp edge of hard times. It was a decade to reflect on the "much good and much harm" produced by an industrial system. Henry George's Progress and Poverty expressed the mood of many that progress was an illusion in any nation which tolerated a great disparity of conditions among the classes. Indeed, George's London lectures in the fall of 1882 elicited a remarkable popular response and helped spawn the birth of a fiery new radical mood.

At first this excitement was expressed in a revival of older forms of activity derived from Owenite utopianism and nonconformist humanitarianism: among these being the launching of colonies to serve as exemplars of radical reform. After a break of nearly three decades, a period of intense interest in communitarianism began that lasted until the century's end. This second phase of communitarianism understandably differed from the earlier one in placing greater emphasis on intentional communities as a response to excessive urbanization and the stresses of a consumer economy on the family. Alfred Marshall in an 1884 article in Contemporary Review described London as astir with numerous "socialist groups" talking about launching communities in England to combine "the advantages of the town and the country. Such efforts at colonies for the purpose of domestic reform were designated as "home colonies," in contrast to those sent abroad to remote areas of the world.[1]

But the communitarian enthusiasm of the late nineteenth century encountered opposition from the radical mainstream, which now moved toward the acceptance of state socialism. Both Fabians and Marxists dismissed colonization efforts as an outgrown primitive stage of early socialist development that only weakened the cause.

For Howard, however, it was the communitarian thinking of the 1880s about the "Land Question" that provided the wellspring from which he would eventually draw for his Garden City scheme. As American spiritualism in the form of the "New Dispensation" awakened his interest in the 1870s in cooperation and radical reform, the next decade provided the ideas and insights which in time led to the garden city. Once again an American, Henry George, profoundly influenced Howard's thinking.

In the revival of "socialist" agitation in the 1880s, the issue of "Land Nationalisation" joined old passions to new causes. Long the battle cry of "individualistic" British radicals, "Land Reform" in the scholarly analysis of David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill was largely reduced to an issue that pitted the middle class of capital against the landed aristocracy - the arena for this contrast being parliamentary debates over primogeniture and entail. Then in the evangelical writings and speeches of Henry George, "Land Reform" reacquired mass support by offering the promise of a thorough transformation of society with near miraculous excision of most social flaws. The journalist and politician John Morley likened George's impact on London radical circles as comparable to the effect on pedestrians of a dinosaur making its way down Pall Mall. William Morris thought that Progress and Poverty "had been received in this country ... as a new Gospel."[2]

The question of why the unknown George elicited this reaction in Britain intrigued his contemporaries. Scholars found Progress and Poverty neither original nor profound. According to one early student of socialism, the Austrian scholar Max Beer, "his leading ideas are natural rights, Ricardo and Mill's theory of rent and the schemes of Spence and Dove." Beer believed it was only George's style, an impassioned and moralistic eloquence, which galvanized many to confront a world they perceived had run awry. In short, the American provided his followers with a righteous cause and simple theory around which to rally. Later historians have emphasized also the propitious timing and circumstances - the "dramatic opportuneness" - of George's arrival in Britain. Interest in the "Land Question" had been aroused by the recent "Irish Trouble," in which upwards of ten thousand evictions had caused tenant farmers to strike back in desperate fury.[3]

In 1882, Henry George traveled to Ireland to report on conditions. On two occasions - a day apart - he was arrested and briefly detained in Galway, events well publicized in the press. Alfred Russel Wallace, by now in correspondence with George, quickly arranged for him to speak in London's Farringdon Hall on September 12, 1882. George Bernard Shaw attended and later recalled, "I was thus thrust into the great socialist revival of 1883. I found that five-sixths of those who were swept in with me had been converted by Henry George." A cheap sixpence edition of Progress and Poverty. sold over one hundred thousand copies in England during the next two years. George returned to the United States a famous man. His ideas now received a broader hearing in his native country, with the prestigious North American Review eagerly soliciting his articles.

The distinguished economist and journalist, J. A. Hobson, believed the real importance of Henry George derived from the fact that he was able to drive an abstract notion, that of economic rent, into the minds of practical men. George succeeded because he made landlordism a personal issue for town dwellers. In both Britain and the United States, George appealed to the skilled workers and lower middle class of the cities. Where George broke new ground was in his treatment of urban land values.[4]

Ricardo's theory of rent, the basis of George's philosophy, assumed an agrarian context and the Malthusian premise that the pressure of population growth forced into use increasingly inferior agricultural land. This, Ricardo argued from the tenets of classic economics, pushed rents upwards. Such increases, in turn, necessarily came at the expense of capital and labor. Simply put, land was a natural monopoly whose owners held unfair advantage over laborers and businessmen.

George's experience in a relatively sparsely populated America offered a different perspective. While observing the California land boom of the 1860s, George concluded that rising land values were largely due to speculation based on anticipated use. To George, any theory of ground rent needed to include the "values of locality," meaning that desirability was based on accessibility, either real or potential. Since the "values of locality" were socially created, they and all other forms of unearned income from land should be rightfully returned to society at large in the form of a confiscatory land value tax (the celebrated term "single tax" did not become important to George until 1887).[5]

George, the "prophet of San Francisco," elaborated a common American belief (the same theme satirically employed by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their novel, The Gilded Age) that the easiest way to make a fortune was to buy land where a railroad or city would eventually be built and to sit tight until land values exploded. While no doubt Americans viewed such behavior as smart business practice, George denounced land speculation for its disastrous social consequences. It reduced living standards, exacerbated inequality of wealth, and created overcrowded cities and underutilized countryside. Not the least of George's complaints was that it caused moral erosion by creating examples of great fortunes amassed through idleness and gambling.

According to J. C. Gavin, Joseph Chamberlain's biographer, Chamberlain and John Morley on reading Progress and Poverty concluded that the "Land Question" in its urban aspects of housing, overcrowding, and ground rents must be brought forward as "the great business" of the day. Even George's critics turned their attention to the implications of his ideas for urban life. In drawing attention to the influence of ground rent on the cost of housing, food, and wages, George transformed the "Land Question" into a meaningful issue for urban dwellers.[6]

The responses to George of the historian Arnold Toynbee and the economist Alfred Marshall influenced the views of Howard and his circle. Toynbee, a Balliol tutor and reformer who had chosen to live among the poor of Whitechapel, found the enthusiastic reception accorded George's ideas among London workers disconcerting. Just before he died in 1883, he rose from a sickbed to deliver two lectures rebutting George.

Asserting that the period 1840 to 1880 had registered a considerable improvement in the standard of living, Toynbee argued that the protesters of the early 1880s wanted to improve the quality of their lives. Their dissatisfaction arose principally from expectations having increased faster than wages. Progress and Poverty appealed to those earning good wages who "cannot obtain a whole house as a home, nor the decent enjoyments of life," such as leisure or a garden.[7]

Although he thought George wrong in arguing that rent always came at the expense of wages, Toynbee conceded that London provided an instance where it did. Workers in almost any given trade earned higher wages than their counterparts elsewhere, but the differential did not adequately compensate for the capital's inflated costs. Its rents, Toynbee explained, were especially high, because the city suffered from a "keen struggle for space by competing land uses at its center … that a site would go for more if used as a warehouse than as a residence was obvious." Higher rents paid by the Londoner brought him less housing than other Englishmen. While a skilled worker in Bolton and in Lancashire could afford a whole house, the same man living in London and earning more would live with his family in two rooms or perhaps take in lodgers in order to afford to rent a house in "the great suburbs springing up around London … mere blocks of brick and mortar … without a single space in which you can breathe." This explained why London audiences rose in standing ovations when George denounced "landlordism."

Early in 1883, Alfred Marshall also delivered a series of lectures on Progress and Poverty. A professor at the University College of Bristol, he would soon become the preeminent economist of his day and hold the chair of political economy at Cambridge. Characterizing Progress mid Poverty as a work flawed badly by error and obsolete economic theory, whose author was "by nature a poet, not a scientific thinker," Marshall regarded George's views as greatly exaggerated.

In 1884, the Contemporary Review commissioned Marshall to write on London's "Housing Question." Public interest in lower-class shelter had been recently aroused by Andrew Mearn's The Bitter City of Outcast London (1883) and by a government report on housing which estimated that two hundred thousand families - a fourth of London's population - resided in substandard dwellings. Marshall viewed the core of London's problem as the concentration of great masses in a compact area and the effect of this on ground rents. The "housing question," in other words, was inherent to the growth of "great cities."[8]

Henry George had argued in Progress and Poverty that the rise of cities in the nineteenth century was due largely to speculative forces and hence artificially induced. Without going into great detail, he suggested that a confiscatory tax on the unearned increment would automatically disperse population and industry until a nation arose of small towns possessing advanced industry, while retaining a green setting and bucolic surroundings.

Marshall, in contrast, related the rise of nineteenth-century cities to the imperatives of a new industrial technology. Once the railroads in the 1830s freed industry from the need to locate near water power or coal fields, it was inevitable that factories would gravitate toward large centers of population. In turn, the relocation of factories drew a rural population seeking employment into the cities. "So the tide set strongly toward the town." Now in the 1880s, however, the advantages of industrial production needed to be weighed against its negative effects: the depopulation of the countryside and the unhealthy concentration of people in already crowded cities.[9]

According to Marshall, the economic consequences of concentration inflated living costs while holding down wages for the unskilled. High ground rents obviously led to excessive housing costs for the workers and others. Moreover, they were also an important cost factor for a firm or factory doing business in a large city. All of this he viewed as bad, but there were still other negative considerations.

In London, ground rents stood so much higher than elsewhere that its businesses dared not pass along their cost of rent for fear of risking their competitive position against rivals elsewhere. London firms compensated for high rents by paying low wages to their unskilled labor who had little ability to resist. Despite this, the capital continued to lure farm laborers and immigrants to swell crowded and disorderly neighborhoods by the prospect of employment. Thus, if jobs existed elsewhere, they would leave London or, better yet, not go there in the first place. Marshall thought it both possible and desirable to relocate certain types of employment away from London proper to the surrounding countryside.

He believed that recent technological innovations promised to reverse the trend toward concentrating businesses in compact cities. The advent of the telephone, mail service, general newspapers, and business associations now allowed manufacturers to locate at a distance from the city without serious disadvantage. In Manchester and Leeds, he reported, cotton and woolen mills requiring large sites had already relocated to the outskirts in search of lower ground rents. Indeed, Marshall predicted that the general departure of large-scale manufacturing from the central areas of cities would be only a matter of time.

London's economy, however, was not based on large-scale manufacturers but on small specialized workshops devoted to high-priced luxury items. Requiring little space, they could not be easily forced out of central- city locations. Yet their presence in London drew a rural and immigrant population whose health and morale were impaired by residence in slum neighborhoods.

Marshall proposed a most novel way to speed the departure of small shops. He urged the formation of a committee to plant a "colony in some place well beyond the range of London's smoke." It would erect suitable and sanitary cottages before approaching employers with the argument that their employees in such a salutary setting would prove more reliable and efficient. Marshall reiterated this analysis of urban rent in his famous Principles of Economics, published in 1890, the most influential textbook on the subject at the turn of the century.

Interest in shrinking the size of cities through deliberate relocation of industry and people grew considerably by the 1880s. Radicals had long regarded the rise of the "great city" as both undesirable and unnecessary. Marxists, for example, perceived urbanization as a phase in the development of a capitalist system to be reversed by the advent of socialism. Marx and Engels asserted this view as early as 1848 in the Communist Manifesto, although also suggesting somewhat contradictorily that the rise of cities had saved millions from the stagnation of "rural idiocy." Certainly many radicals in England and America regarded the nineteenth-century growth of cities in numbers and size as symptoms of a generally diseased and malfunctioning system. The new stress on the critical economic role of ground rent in an industrial age altered conceptualization by making the rise of cities appear more a cause rather than merely a consequence of tile general problem.[10]

The movement of urban problems to center stage can be traced clearly through changes in the ideas and writings of Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace's interest in the "Land Question" had been prompted by reading in 1862 Herbert Spencer's Social Statics. When John Stuart Mill organized his Land Tenure Reform Association in 1870, Wallace enrolled as a charter member. Concerned about the plight of the Irish tenants and the high- lander clearances in Scotland, Wallace in 1880 wrote an article in Contemporary Review calling for land nationalization and in the following year published Land Nationalisation and Its Aim. While completing its final chapters, he encountered Progress and Poverty, which he promptly hailed as "undoubtedly the most remarkable and important book of the present century."

George's influence on Wallace's book is obvious in the final chapter, "Low Wages and Pauperism; the Direct Consequence of Unrestricted Private Property in Land." The fact that independently of each other the two had arrived at very similar positions through "totally distinct lines of deductive reasoning" was thought by Wallace to prove their validity. An important difference between the thinking of the two was that Wallace called for government acquisition and nationalization of all land with compensation to owners. Nationalized land would then be rented to tenants in parcels of up to five acres for farming.[11]

In the second edition, after reading George, Wallace added an appendix "On the Nationalisation of House Property." He was now convinced that "the crucial test of the practicability of land nationalisation [would have] to be its applicability to towns." Wallace reasoned that the availability of farmland at low rates would draw large numbers from the city and revive the countryside. Villages would thrive, developing farming and industry in a complementary balance. Over time the price of land and housing in cities would be lowered sufficiently to make it feasible for government to acquire them at the depressed price and to become the nation's sole landlord. In 1881 the Land Nationalisation Society was founded in London to further Wallace's program. Securing offices in the City, it soon employed a full-time secretary who, provided with a bright yellow horse-drawn wagon, carried the message far and wide.

Wallace and Henry George essentially accepted the tenets of a market- regulated economy. Land was to be withdrawn from competition only because its limited supply represented a national monopoly. Both men were also prepared to argue that certain utilities - railroads, telephones, gas - for the same reason should also be removed from the arena of private profit. But once these impediments to competition were removed, they believed, the market system would reverse tile economic: and demographic concentrations they deplored.

Until the second half of the 1880s, to advocate land nationalization or a confiscatory land-value tax generally identified one as a socialist, socialism was still a catchword for various ideas, efforts, and sentiments to alter a competitive economy through cooperative activity. Attempts, however, were well along to restrict the term to advocates of state ownership, in part or in whole, of the means of production. Often the phrases "Continental socialism," "state socialism," or "scientific socialism" were employed to convey this.

George did not call himself a socialist, but neither did he object when others did. In early 1887, he organized the United Labor party as the vehicle for "the American producing classes" to fight at the polls for the "Single Tax" and "Free Trade." By the summer, a break occurred between George and "Marxists," many of them German immigrants. George read them out of his party, claiming, "The truth is that state socialism with its childish notions of making all capital the property of the state is an exotic born of European conditions that cannot take root or flourish on American soil." Subsequently, until his death a decade later, George would be pushed further away from the main drift of socialism to a position which revealed his philosophy for what it always was - a radical individualism which opposed the centralization of power in the state as much as in any other vested interest.

Reacting to the economic depression of the mid-1880s, Alfred Russel Wallace urged the creation of labor colonies for the unemployed in a book called Hard Times (1885). A few years later this idea would be promoted enthusiastically by William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. Disturbed greatly by the violent disorders of the late 1880s, Wallace declared himself a socialist. In an article written in 1889, he called for the creation of "home colonies" and the organization of the economy on "collectivist principles." In calling for governmental ownership of land, Wallace was closer to the mainstream of developing socialist thought than George. Yet in urging home colonies as the means for national reconstruction, Wallace harkened to an older socialist tradition under attack from the proponents of state socialism as "Utopian."[12]

This latter word-formerly applied in the main to literary exercises depicting an ideal commonwealth, the classical Utopias of Plato, More, and their imitators-was now employed widely to derogate experimental colonies. Among the very first to use the word in this negative sense were Marx and Engels. The Communist Manifesto of 1848 honored Robert Owen, St. Simon, and Fourier as pioneers of socialism who discerned capitalism's evils but could offer in its place only far-fetched "duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem." Marx and Engels termed their predecessors "Utopian socialists") contrast a misguided interest in fanciful colonies with the correct approach of "Scientific Socialism."[13]

Communitarians generally were uneasy with concepts advocating class conflict or revolution and were suspicious of the state. Colonies, as the model for the Cooperative Commonwealth, represented a peaceful way of introducing social regeneration through voluntary associations and social experimentation. Many communitarian schemes, however, lacked a carefully thought-through design of an alternative society or environment and represented little more than the inclination to start a community based on one or more cooperative principles combined with an intuitive sense of a common vision.

Not only those who viewed themselves as socialists or radicals were intrigued by schemes for home colonies. Certain reformers also envinced interest in the 1880s. The importance of healthy and contented workers as a factor in production was becoming increasingly evident. The growing opinion that lower-class malaise and restlessness were intensified by urban conditions supported the belief that the alternative environmental setting of a model industrial village might create a contented industrious working class.

The theme of model industrial villages stems in British history from Robert Owen's efforts at New Lanark. Disraeli propounded the idea in his novels. The model industrial community of Saltaire near Bradford (started in the 1860s) and the spectacular instance of a town of ten thousand people erected almost overnight in 1880 by the American businessman George Pullman were much commented on as examples of how an enlightened employer could provide his workers with superior and uplifting surroundings.

The line separating model industrial villages from communitarian schemes sometimes blurred. Robert Owen, after all, created a model industrial village, proposed a home colony for the unemployed, and finally launched on the American frontier the communitarian experiment of New Harmony. His conviction that the principal factors in the formation of character were environmental led him to assert "that any general character, from the best to the worst, may be given to any community, by the application of proper means."[14]

The best-known examples of model industrial villages, however, only intended to demonstrate a commonality of interest among employers and employees without altering the critical distinctions between the two. Then Alfred Marshall proposed in 1883 a scheme for a home colony as a model village for the purpose of persuading London manufacturers to relocate their work force. As a social invention, the idea of home colonies could be applied in various ways. The common denominator was that the home colony represented an organized effort at a community, usually new, with some specific social goal in mind.

Awareness of working-class alienation combined with increased concern for environmental factors in social behavior to foster interest in model factory towns during the last third of the nineteenth century. Though it was not necessarily recognized as such, the model factory town represented an effort of sorts at an industrial Utopia which sought to strengthen conventional values and place them in a context which emphasized the harmony of interests of capital and labor. This ideal held promise of appealing to influential circles and certainly seemed less fanciful than colonies-such as Hopedale-intended to challenge prevailing values and relationships.[15]

It was in an apparently propitious climate, then, that the Society for Promoting Industrial Villages was founded with a membership of leading social reformers and industrialists in 1883. The society's intention was exclusively propagandist: to encourage the building by others of model industrial villages. In 1884 its chairman, the Reverend Henry Solly, suggested in his Industrial Villages: A Remedy for Crowded Towns and Deserted Fields, that cottages should be well built and sanitary with legal restrictions against subletting or overcrowding. The village, he thought, should contain schools, a library, an art museum, and a social club or coffeehouse in place of the usual public house. Hopefully, the area surrounding the village might be retained as open space and reserved for playing fields and allotment gardens. Solly's model villages were not only to redress urban congestion but also, as his title attests, to staunch the flow from country to city: "for the one evil must redress the other."[16]

By 1887, Solly, grown tired of waiting for benevolent and public-spirited manufacturers to act, founded a limited-dividend company to erect a model village. But he soon conceded lack of interest, and his Society for Promoting Industrial Villages closed its doors in 1889. The building of Port Sunlight by ?. H. Lever and Bournville by George Cadbury kept alive the hopes of those espousing model industrial villages as a partial solution to housing and industrial problems.[17]

For the problems of the city, land reform offered more promise. In the 1890s, land reform largely lost its millenarian fervor for a more moderate and promising future. In the guise of separate valuation of land for rating purposes, with improvements assessed separately and taxed less stringently, land reform entered into the mainstream of turn-of-the-century politics. After Gladstone's retirement in 1895, an increasingly radicalized Liberal party pushed separate valuation to the top of its agenda. From the impractical panaceas advocated by Alfred Wallace and Henry George, land reform emerged as one of several prominent socially oriented reform political issues by the decade's end.[18]

As adherents of land reform abandoned their extreme assumptions, they successfully related the issue of separate valuations to the particular problems of urban overcrowding and unemployment, agricultural depression, and business cycles. By 1906 a land valuation tax was an overwhelming parliamentary concern. Its backers claimed broad support, though mainly from urban quarters - such as municipal rating councils, trade unions, and cooperative congresses.[19]

While ethical condemnations of landlordism remained present in the period from 1889 to 1906, land reformers also developed more sophisticated and pragmatic arguments. They claimed that separate valuation by eliminating speculation would end the common practice of retaining unimproved and lightly rated land near growing cities to await a future windfall. This greater availability of land would contribute significantly to lowering rents by encouraging housing construction. Furthermore, a land-valuation tax would swell the public coffers to reduce other taxes (especially on buildings and improvements) while funding improved public services. By 1906, the Land Nationalisation Society, then at the height of its influence, claimed eighty members of Parliament as members and another fifty openly sympathetic to its program. This, however, was considerably more modest and urban oriented than the one offered by Alfred Russel Wallace twenty-five years earlier. In the interim, land reform had been successfully transformed into a relevant political issue for an urban society.[20]

Municipal governments during the 1890s were increasingly obliged to acquire privately held land at inflated prices in order to undertake improvement schemes. Bills appearing before Parliament in 1904, 1905, and 1906 sought to remedy this problem in a most ingenious manner. Owners were to declare the value of land for rating purposes, with the stipulation that at public acquisition their figure would also serve as the basis for compensation. As early as 1892-1893, London Liberals sought the enactment of a "betterment levy," whereby property holders profiting from large improvement schemes might be taxed accordingly. With officials in London and Glasgow taking the lead, municipal governments joined in demanding land-valuation taxes as a critical need of modern urban reform. Land reform thus contributed greatly to the remarkable radical revival of the 1880s, being transformed in the process into the new vernacular of social- issue-oriented politics.

Howard was an interested onlooker in the intellectual debate of the 1880s. His circle of friends and acquaintances in spiritual groups, the Zetetical Society, and elsewhere were people of active social conscience. Themes pushed forward in the decade - colonization efforts, the proposed model industrial villages of Marshall and Solly, and the Land Question were considered with a sense of urgency. All found their place in his formulation of the garden city.

The discourse of the decade dramatically brought forward the problems of the "Great Cities" and their poor. Howard's youthful excitement at urban growth and change fell by the wayside to be replaced by concern for the consequences of crowding people into cities. The communitarian theme of seeking to combine the advantages of city and country into a harmonious whole was familiar to him from the "New Dispensation." It was now being suggested that advances in technology made such an ideal feasible. Henry George and Alfred Russel Wallace urged land reform as a way of reversing the movement from countryside to city. Howard had much to ponder.

At a time when many who viewed the existing social system as inequitable or inefficient moved in the direction of social-issue-oriented politics, Howard clung to an older radical tradition that emphasized self-help and volunteerism. Perhaps he shared George's foreboding that an involved government would be paternalistic at best and tyrannical at worst. From his perspective, a higher civilization would only come about as the result of enlightened individuals leading humanity by their example to the acceptance of a grand design inherent in the order of the universe.


  1. Alfred Marshall, "The Housing of the London Poor: Where to House Them." Contemporary Review. XL1V (Feb. 1884), 224-31. For examples of early-nineteenth-century use of the term "home colonies" see p.c. Harrison, Quest for the New Moral World: Robert Owen and the Owenites in Britain and America (New York 1969), 23. On the intellectual roots of nineteenth-century colonization enthusiasm, the most valuable study is Frank E. and Fritzie P. Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World (Cambridge, Mass., 1979), 4 13-580.
  2. Max Beer, A History of British Socialism, vol. 2 (London, 1920) 246-53; Elwood P. Lawrence, Henry George in the British Isles (East Lansing, Mich., 1957). For George's influence on the Fabian Society, see A.M. McBriar, Fabian Socialism and English Politics (Cambridge, 1966), 29-36.
  3. Beer, 250.
  4. The Standard biography of George is Charles Albro Barker's Henry George New York 1955). Useful in understanding George in the context of American radical culture is John L. Thomas, Alternative America (Cambridge, Mass., 1983). Thomas's study also treats two other American social critics of importance to Howard: Edward Bellamy and Henry Demarest Lloyd.
  5. On the use of the term "single tax" see Barker, 291, 607. For Barker's comments on George's distinctive treatment or urban land values, 77; Henry George, Progress and Poverty, treats urban land value primarily in Chapter Six, "Effect ol the Expectations Ra'sc' by Material Progress." Here is found George's famous statement: "When we reach the limits oflhe growing city-the actual margin or building, which corresponds to the margin or cultivation--we shall not find the land purchasable at its value for agricultural purposes . . . bill we shall 1.11(1 that for a long distance beyond the city, lands bears a speculative value, based upon the belief that it will be required in the future for urban purposes [emphasis mine]."
  6. Writing in 1894, Sidney and Beatrice Webb confirmed the change: "Instead of the Chartist cry of 'Back to the Land' still adhered to by rural labourers and belated politicians, the town artisan is thinking of his claims to the unearned increment of urban land values, which he now watches falling into the coffers of great landlords," cited in Barker, 413. It should be recalled that the same small group of aristocratic families possessed vast urban holdings as well as extensive rural estates. David Cannadine, Lords and Landlords (Cambridge, 1980), and David Cannadine (ed.), Politicians, Power and Politics in Nineteenth- Century Towns (New York, 1983).
  7. The two essays "Mr. George in California" and "Mr. George in England" appeared in the appendix of Arnold Toynbee, Lectures on the Industrial Revolution (London, 1896 edition), 264-319. The circumstances of the lectures are given in F.C. Montague, Arnold Toynbee (Baltimore, 1889), 51-52. Charles Booth also offered an interesting but brief criticism of Progress and Poverty, which has not been published, Booth MS 797: II 127/13, Library of the University of London.
  8. Alfred Marshall's lectures appeared in the Bristol Times and Mirror 20, 27 Feb. and 3 Mar. 1883. Certified transcripts are in the Henry George Collection, New York Public Library, A slightly different version from these transcripts has been published by George Stigler as "Alfred Marshall's Three Lectures on Progress and Poverty"Journal of Law and Economics, XII (Apr. 1969), 184-212. An exchange of correspondence between Marshall and Alfred Russel Wallace concerning these lectures which appeared in the Western Dial Press is also included, Journal of Law and Economics, XII, 222-27, as well as a transcript of a rowdy meeting at Oxford University where George, after speaking and being questioned by Marshall, was heckled by students, Journal of Law and Economics, XII, 217-22.
  9. Alfred Marshall, "The Housing of the London Poor: Where to House Them," Contemporary Review, XLV (Feb. 1884), 224-31. According to his student F.Y. Edgeworth, Marshall "valued improvement in physical surroundings chiefly as rendering it possible for the many to lead a noble life, cited in Martin J. Wiener, English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial spirit, 1850-1980 (Cambridge, 1981), 90.
  10. Carl E. Schorske, "The Idea of the City in European Thought," in Oscar Handlin and John Burchard (eds.), The Historian and the City (Cambridge, Mass., 1963), 105-7. Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (Oxford, 1973), 302-6. In The Housing Question, originally written as a series of three articles in 1872, Engels asserted that only through socialism could the problem of great cities be resolved; although favoring "the abolition of the antithesis between town and country," he refused to state the way this would occur since "Utopia begins . .. when one ventures from existing conditions to prescribe the form in which this or any other antithesis of present-day Society is to be resolved" (Moscow, 1970), 89.
  11. Alfred Russel Wallace to Henry George, June 3, 1882, and June 7, 1882, in Henry George Collection, the New York Public Library. The correspondence between Wallace and Darwin are in James Marchant, Alfred Russel Wallace: Lettei'S and Reminiscensces, vol. I (London, 1916), 316 17. Also sec A.R. Wallace, My Life, vol. II (New York, 1905), Chapter XXXV, and Wallace's response to Henry Fawcett's cutting review of both Wallace's and George's books which appears in Wallace's Studies Scientific and Social (London, 1890), Chapter XVII.
  12. Wallace s new enthusiasm for a collectivist economy was influenced by reading Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward. Wallace, My Life, vol. II, 266. The 1890 article appeared in the Fortnightly Review, XLVI (Sept. 1890), 272-82.
  13. The term "Utopian socialism" (or "utopianism") was used by Engels and others on the Left- in two senses: meaning cither the advocacy of the founding of socialist colonies or the drawing up of detailed blueprints of any future socialist society. Frederick Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, seventh revised edition (Moscow, 1970). For an example of Engels's use of the term, see above, note 10. E.P. Thompson has commented that in orthodox Marxism: "Speculation as to the society of the future was repressIed and displaced by attention to strategy. Beyond 4the Revolution' little more could be kn?^" a" certain skeletal theoretical propositions, such as the 'two stages' forseen in The Critique of the Gotha Programme," E.p. Thompson, William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary (New York,
  14. Thequote from Owen is cited in Beatrice Potter (Webb). The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain (London, 1930), 18.
  15. Sidney Pollard has asserted that a majority of early industrial "model towns came about as the result of necessity rather than of social idealism on the part of their foundeirs "The Factory Village in the Industrial Revolution," English History* LXXIX (1964), 513-22; for a further discussion of this issue see, J.D. Marshall, "Colonization as a Factor in the Planting of Towns in North-West England," in H.J. Dyos (ed.), The Study of Urban History (London, 1968), 215-30, and Martin Gaskell, "Model Industrial Villages in ?. Yorkshire/ n! Derbyshire and the Early Town Planning Movement," Trends in History, vol II (1981), 437_57. For an important group of manufactures who were motivated by social interest, the Bradford-Halifax School, see Walter Creese, The Search for Environment (New Haven, 1966), 13-60. Some reformers did perceive or at least sense a relationship between communitarian interest and model factory town, see Gustav Stickle* The Craftsman June 1913), 296; Stickley thought both represented branches from a common trunk, represent- ing efforts at an ideal community based on avoidance of class antagonisms and the provi- sion of a countrified urban setting. Also Henry Demarest Lloyd, "Pullman," an unpub- lished manuscript in the Lloyd Papers, Box 36, Wisconsin Historical Society.
  16. For the Society for Promoting Industrial villages, see William Ashworth, The Genesis of ModernBritish Town Planning (London, 1954), 133-38. The University ofLondonjLibrary ? its Solly Collection has miscellaneous press clippings, pamphlets, and correspondence con- cerning the society. Solly was also the founder of the Workingmen's Club movement and this aspect of his career is considered in Peter Bailey, Leisure and Class in Victorian England (Toronto, 1978). British model villages are the subject of Walter Creese, The Se^c}lf°r Environment. Earlier efforts along similar lines are discussed in W.H.G. Armytage, Heavens Below: Utopian Experiments in England, 1560-1960, London, 1961).
  17. A. H. Solly, Industrial Villages: A Remedy for Crowded Towns and Deserted Fields (London, 1884), b. Roy Douglas, Land, People and Politics: A History of the Land Question in the U.K., 1878-1952 (New York, 1976); Avner Offner, Poverty and Politics, 1870-1914: Landownership, Law, Ideology, and Urban Development in England (Cambridge, 1981); H.J. Perkin, "Land Reform and Class Conflict in Victorian Britain " in J. Butt and I.F. Clarke (eds.), The Victorians and Social Protest (Newton Abbot, 1973), 177-217. c. H.v. Emmy, Radicals, Liberals and Social Reform (London, 1973). Also of interest in under- standing this important transition is Stefan Collini, Liberalism and Sociology (Cambridge, 1979). d. Douglas, 111-14.