Skip to main content

Some Changing Spatial Structures in the United Kingdom

  • Chapter
  • 84 Accesses


Much of what is peculiarly characteristic of ‘British capitalism’, of British economy and society, stems from the long inheritance of its international position and role. From merchant capitalism, through the heyday of Empire and the dominance of international trade through its role as workshop of the world, to the long twentieth-century process of decline, this international orientation, though changing in its form and in its implications, has been fundamental (Gamble, 1981). And this inheritance has not been one which registered only in economic terms. The economic role within the nineteenth-century international division of labour left its mark in the form of a particular set of class relations and particular contours of class structure. It is through these class relations and their consequences for national politics that ‘the British economy’, accumulation within the geographical boundaries of the nation state, continues to be affected, constrained, and often under-mined, by its inheritance from the past.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Copyright information

© 1995 Doreen Massey

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Massey, D. (1995). Some Changing Spatial Structures in the United Kingdom. In: Spatial Divisions of Labour. Palgrave, London.

Download citation