This chapter begins with an investigation of teachers' work within the laissez-faire liberal settlement 1850s–1900. It argues that a social settlement emerged during the 1850s, consolidated itself in a particular accumulation/institution relation in the three decades that followed, but then faced increasing pressure by the end of the century with declining profitability leading to economic and social crisis worldwide. The chapter develops a conceptual framework intended to produce a more fine-grained account of the changing nature of teachers' work both within and across social settlements. It explains that framework through an illustrative analysis of teachers' work in the laissez-faire liberal settlement in two countries—the United States and England. The chapter shows that teachers' changing economic and political fortunes were the result of particular struggles waged by teachers both among themselves and with relation to other groups—the state and civil society—in particular places, at particular times and under particular conditions.