Settlers and the Agrarian Question: Capitalism in Colonial Australia

Settlers and the Agrarian Question: Capitalism in Colonial Australia

by Philip McMichael
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521523168

ISBN-13: 9780521523165

Pub. Date: 10/31/2003

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This book traces the formation of Australian colonial society and economy within the context of the changing fortunes of British hegemony in the nineteenth-century world economy. Australia's transition from conservative origins as a penal colony supporting a grazier class oriented to export production, to liberal agrarian capitalism, was not a simple reflex of…  See more details below

Overview

This book traces the formation of Australian colonial society and economy within the context of the changing fortunes of British hegemony in the nineteenth-century world economy. Australia's transition from conservative origins as a penal colony supporting a grazier class oriented to export production, to liberal agrarian capitalism, was not a simple reflex of imperial setting. Domestically, the 'agrarian question' - who should control the land and to what end? - was the central political struggle of this period, as urban-commercial forces contested the graziers' monopoly, of the landed economy. Embedded in the conflict among settler classes was an international dimension, involving a juxtaposition of laissez-faire and mercantilist phases of British political economy. Professor McMichael argues that the transition from a patriarchal wool-growing colony to a liberal-nationalist form of capitalist development is best understood through a systematic analysis of the effect of the imperial politicoeconomic relationship on the social and political forces within nineteenth-century Australia.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521523165
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/31/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
324
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

Map of Australia; List of tables; Preface; 1. The social structure of British hegemony; Part I. The Colonial Economy Enters the World Market (1788–1830): 2. The transition from penal to commercial colony; 3. The world-economic origins of colonial wool growing; Part II. The Squatting Phase of Pastoralism (1830s and 1840s): 4. Squatting and colonial politics; 5. Merchants and growers; 6. Pastoral enterprise in the colonial economy; 7. The conservative character of pastoralism; Part III. Confronting the Agrarian Question (1840–1900): 8. The 1840s crisis and social transition; 9. Foundations of the agrarian question; 10. State formation and transformation of the landed economy; Conclusion; Appendixes; References; Index.

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