William James Ashley (1860-1927) was one of the leading historical economists of his generation and, along with Archdeacon William Cunningham and William Albert Hewins, he was instrumental in harnessing historicist principles to support the corporatist-cum-protectionist movement that grew to prominence in the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods. Ashley's influence on the formation of policy within this movement reached its peak with the publication in 1903 of The Tariff Problem, which was issued shortly after the mercurial Joseph Chamberlain launched his political campaign to reintroduce a tariff structure in Great Britain.



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