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Reviewed by Thomas DiLorenzo. Ekelund, Jr. Price III.

Economic History

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Swann, S. Thomson, Southbank pp. Leonard ed. II pp. III pp. Johnson, M. Kriesler, P. The inaugural lecture he gave there was dedicated to Gustav Schmoller, one of the German scholars in whose hands economic history was more developed in Germany than it was in England. From its foundation in , the London School of Economics LSE placed economic history centrally among the social sciences. Economic history was also taught by the original Director, W. Lilian Tomn, a few months later to become Mrs Knowles, was appointed and at the beginning of took up the first full-time position in the subject in a British university.

Discussion 10: Economic History

The second university appointment specifically in economic history was the lectureship held at the University of Manchester by H. Meredith from to The textbook he published in , Outlines of the Economic History of England , showed that the lectures he gave in Manchester were on an established rather than a pioneering discipline. The fourth followed in at Edinburgh, held by George Unwin. It was Unwin who filled the first chair in the subject in Britain, that established at Manchester in But the establishment of a chair in a field marks a new stage in maturity.

By the early s economic history was well established in its original quadrilateral between Cambridge, Oxford, LSE and Manchester. Clapham was giving his lectures on economic history there from , 20 years before Cambridge created a chair in the subject for him. The old Methodenstreit was over; courses of lectures and research were the order of the day. Such was the stage economic history had grown to by Economic history was ready to accept the final accolade of recognition as an independent discipline: the founding of a professional society to bring its practitioners together and the founding of a specialist journal devoted to the subject.

The first two professors of the subject both died in post, both relatively young — Unwin in and Mrs Knowles in A third part was played, crucially but less harmoniously, by E. Eileen Power and R. Tawney both taught at the London School of Economics, lived as neighbours in Mecklenburgh Square and ran a seminar together on the social and economic history of Tudor England at the Institute of Historical Research from She had previously taught at Girton College, Cambridge, where she had been a student, and after graduating in , she had been a research student at LSE.

Eileen Power was a woman of charismatic charm and beauty. Tawney had been connected with LSE since His Acquisitive Society 10 made him well known, and Religion and the Rise of Capitalism 11 made him very well known. Tawney and Power, close friends and colleagues, produced their three volumes of Tudor Economic Documents in Ephraim Lipson was a different kettle of fish. The son of a Jewish furniture dealer in Sheffield, he graduated from Cambridge with a first in history in , but found no opening there and migrated to Oxford as a private tutor and independent researcher.

The first volume of his Economic History of England 13 appeared in and his History of the Woollen and Worsted Industries 14 in He was disabled since being dropped as a small child and he was always conscious of being jeered at. He was a self-conscious outsider. He was very well-read but he did not shine like Tawney or sparkle like Power. However, he was creator of the Economic History Review , originally published by A. Black, the publisher of his own books and for whom he was a consultant. He had first proposed an economic history equivalent of the English Historical Review to them in When Eileen Power came to organise the economic history session at the second Anglo-American Conference of Historians at the Institute of Historical Research in July , two strands fell carefully together.

The Review had already been initiated by a contract between A. There had been preliminary meetings to discuss these matters from at least March Lipson was trying to move quickly at this stage, since the Royal Economic Society RES had decided to produce a new economic history supplement to their Economic Journal. The first issue of Economic History was speedily produced and actually appeared in January Cambridge and Keynes were trying to outmanoeuvre Oxford and Lipson.

Lipson, paranoid even without being persecuted, was forced into alliance with Tawney and Power, scholars enjoying the universal admiration denied to him. Economic History continued to appear in strange rivalry until ; Keynes was not easily beaten. She was working with A. Sir William Ashley duly became the first President of the Society, and his paper at the foundation meeting was published as the first article in the first number of the Economic History Review.

Eileen Power became the first Secretary of the Society, and she was the driving force. By June a membership list was printed containing individual names a slight overestimate of the real membership, since they had not all paid their subscriptions plus libraries. Of the libraries as many as were overseas, 77 of them in the United States. Americans numbered 79 of the individual members, by far the largest group of foreigners, with Canada and Germany following with nine each.

There was an international flavour from the start, but the great bulk of members were British, and there was always a drive to recruit as many schoolmasters and schoolmistresses as possible. Tickner, nominally Joint Secretary with Eileen Power at the start, was a benign and earnest schoolmaster. It proved very hard to add to the pioneering band of or so who joined the Society at the beginning.

The next 20 years saw membership falling rather than rising. It did not fall very much, only once dipping below to in , the last year of the war. But expansion would have been more heartening, and there were perpetual worries throughout the s about making ends meet. In it was necessary to send out letters marked Private and Urgent to correspondents all over the provinces asking them to recruit an additional ten members each.

The appeal evidently did not work, and membership in fell slightly. The perpetual membership drives brought in a few distinguished foreigners, but the domestic market could not be deepened. He had already resigned the Readership in Economic History at Oxford that he had held in succession to L. Price since though without being able to achieve any college affiliation. In it had been decided to establish a Chichele chair of Economic History at Oxford, and Lipson had been keen to get it. Black had 17 people working on the index.

The books were published in the nick of time, but Lipson still failed to be appointed to the chair. It went to G.

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Clark later Sir George Clark , a respectable figure though not a committed economic historian of the new style. Lipson, his paranoia confirmed, rejected Oxford in despair, and in he left the Review too. Lipson lived on until , but he severed his connections with economic history completely in His successor as editor of the Review in was another outsider, but an altogether more glamorous, brilliant and quick-witted one: M. Postan later Sir Michael Postan. Munia Postan as he was known to his friends erupted into London in , when he registered as a part-time student at LSE.

Accounts of where he had come from varied kaleidoscopically. Lenin featured, and the Russian army, and the Zionist cause. From to he taught at University College London; from to he taught at LSE; in he moved to Cambridge as a lecturer; and in he succeeded Clapham there as Professor of Economic History. In he became sole editor of the Review and in he became sole husband of Eileen Power a development that astonished many at the time.

The EHS became a family business.