Land Reform in an Urban Age
[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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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."
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."
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
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."
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.
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."
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
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
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.
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
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-
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Beer, 250.
- 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
- 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]."
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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,
- Thequote from Owen is cited in
Beatrice Potter (Webb). The Co-operative Movement in Great Britain
(London, 1930), 18.
- 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
- 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).
- 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.