A new culture of gentility came to define the surging middle class of the early nineteenth century throughout the global sphere of 'Greater Britain'. Motivated by the aspiration of self-improvement and grounded in fierce self-control, would-be middle class people generated a characteristic genteel habitus or lifestyle. It required certain minimum financial resources but more importantly, knowledge of how to conduct oneself correctly. The right combination of financial and cultural capital enabled practice of the rituals of etiquette and consumption of tasteful goods, such as clothing and furnishings. Together, etiquette and consumption acted as mechanisms of distinction, defining not only the middle class from above or below, but also layer upon layer of middle class segments. This culture of gentility came to define and unite the emergent middle class around the turn of the 19th century in Britain, the United States and English-speaking colonies around the globe.