What were the forces behind the peculiar character of nineteenth century political economy? Recent scholars have explored a number of crisscrossing patterns of economic thought in the period, ranging over stadial history, evangelical religion, romantic poetry, geological science, statistical representation, evolutionary theory, and the drive towards mathematization. The special character of Victorian economic thought was determined in no small part by a dual debt to historical scholarship and natural science. The legacy of the Scottish Enlightenment fostered an historical understanding of economic exchange among nineteenth century economists. Nineteenth century political economist populated a continuum between inductive and deductive approaches, drawn from rival views of nature and history. Historical investigation lent legitimacy to inductive models; concepts drawn from natural science bolstered deductive models. Natural history, geology, psychophysiology, and energy physics produced a rich harvest of metaphors for economic analysis.