Merchant Enterprise in Britain: From the Industrial Revolution to World War I

Merchant Enterprise in Britain: From the Industrial Revolution to World War I

by Stanley Chapman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521351782

ISBN-13: 9780521351782

Pub. Date: 04/16/1992

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Studies of the British Industrial Revolution and of the Victorian period of economic and social development have until very recently concentrated on British industries and industrial regions, while commerce and finance, and particularly that of London, have been substantially neglected. This has distorted our view of the process of change because financial services…  See more details below

Overview

Studies of the British Industrial Revolution and of the Victorian period of economic and social development have until very recently concentrated on British industries and industrial regions, while commerce and finance, and particularly that of London, have been substantially neglected. This has distorted our view of the process of change because financial services and much trade continued to be centred on the metropolis, and the south-east region never lost its position at the top of the national league of wealth. This is a pioneer survey of the mercantile sector of the economy from the end of the eighteenth century to World War I. It complements Dr. Chapman's The Rise of Merchant Banking (1984), concentrating on the various ways in which British merchants responded to the unprecedented opportunities of the Industrial Revolution and the growth of the British Empire. The main conclusion is that industrial entrepreneurs contributed only briefly to merchant ventures, and that with limited success. Rather did the established merchant community evolve its own new forms of enterprise to meet the changing opportunities: the 'new frontier' merchant networks of the Atlantic economy, the international houses in continental trade, the agency houses in the Far East, and the home trade houses dominating the domestic market. These resilient organisations enabled the British merchant enterprise to survive longer and in greater strength than in other Western economies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521351782
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/16/1992
Pages:
356
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 8.03(h) x 0.94(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Preface
Abbreviations used in the footnotes
Introduction: approaches and concepts1
Pt. IThe Setting
1The eighteenth-century structure of merchant enterprise21
2The consequences of the Industrial Revolution and the French Wars51
Pt. IINew Streams of Enterprise
3Merchants in the Atlantic trade81
4The agency houses: trade to India and the Far East107
5The international houses: the foreign contribution to British mercantile enterprise129
6The home trade houses167
Pt. IIIResponse to Instant Communication
7Problems of restructuring mercantile enterprise193
8British-based investment groups before 1914231
9Imperialism and British trade262
Pt. IVConclusions
10Performance of British mercantile enterprise287
Manuscript sources319
Index of firms and people323
Index of places331
Index of subjects336

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