chapter  4
Early Capitalism
Pages 33

The religious revival of early capitalism and the growth of evangelism, which started with the nonconformist sects in the late eighteenth century spread to the established church by 1880, provided a religious component to the dominant ideology. It can be shown that the new justification of capitalism as an economic system, the destruction of traditional constraints and some of the social beliefs of utilitarianism found favour within the old ruling class, while the claims of the bourgeoisie into the dominant class were accepted. On this basis, it is a plausible argument that large sections of the aristocracy were at least receptive to the new ideology of capitalism. The dominant ideology was expected to justify capitalism in the minds of the new working class as well as the old aristocracy. Extending the sort of argument which Thompson popularised in his discussions of time-and-work discipline, Hearn concludes that capitalism needed to destroy this traditional culture and was successful in its task.