Catalogue

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Risk and failure in English business, 1700-1800 /
Julian Hoppit.
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1987.
description
vii, 228 p. : ill., maps.
ISBN
0521326249
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1987.
isbn
0521326249
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
1587712
 
Bibliography: p. 197-221.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-05:
Business and economic historians have devoted vastly greater resources to the study of success in business than to business failure. One reason is that failed businesses are much less likely to leave records detailing their demise than are successful businesses to keep records documenting their triumphs. Hoppit redresses this imbalance with a careful study of formal bankruptcy (a subset of overall business failure) in the 18th century. He calculates from primary sources statistics of the total number of bankrupts, analyzes trends in the annual and seasonal totals, and attempts to assess the trend in bankruptcy rates. It is not surprising that as the economy expanded the number of bankrupts increased dramatically. It is more notable that the trend in bankruptcy rates (measured only imperfectly since the total number of businesses is not known) seems to have increased as well in the period of early industrialization after 1760. The point is that rather than reducing economic uncertainty, industrialization and economic development may have actually intensified insecurity for large numbers of businesses. In addition to a broad discussion of these trends, Hoppit elaborates by discussing regional and occupational differences and spices the presentation with consideration of several specific cases. He also examines the relationship between the bankruptcy figures and harvests, war, the trade cycle, and credit conditions. Hoppit has produced a scholarly piece of work that enhances our understanding of the pressures under which merchants and manufacturers operated in the dynamic 18th century. Upper-division and graduate students.-W.J. Hausman, College of William and Mary
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1988
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This is the first major study of bankruptcy in eighteenth-century England. Typically, business enterprise in this period has been seen as a success story. But this is a myth, for thousands of businesses failed, hounded by their creditors into bankruptcy and ignominy.
Description for Library
This major study considers bankruptcy in eighteenth-century England. Typically, business enterprise in this period has been seen as a success story - where men like Boulton, Watt, Wedgwood and Arkwright helped to forge the Industrial Revolution. But this is a myth, for thousands of businesses failed, hounded by their creditors into bankruptcy and ignominy. This book charts their history by looking at the incidence and causes of bankruptcy and by examining contemporary reactions to these.
Main Description
This major study considers bankruptcy in eighteenth-century England. Typically, business enterprise in this period has been seen as a success story - where men like Boulton, Watt, Wedgwood and Arkwright helped to forge the Industrial Revolution. But this is a myth, for thousands of businesses failed, hounded by their creditors into bankruptcy and ignominy. This book charts their history by looking at the incidence and causes of bankruptcy and by examining contemporary reactions to these. In this way, not only is evidence produced to improve our understanding of the nature of business enterprise, but the dynamics of the eighteenth-century economy over both the short and the long term are uncovered.
Table of Contents
List of figures and tables
Preface
Business enterprise in eighteenth-century England
The bankrupt: friend or foe?
Failure and the law
The trend of eighteenth-century bankruptcy
The structure of eighteenth-century bankruptcy
Textiles, food and drink and merchants
Fluctuations, the weather and cycles
Bankruptcy, wars and financial crises
Depths of failure and the role of creditors
Contemporaries and failure
Conclusion
Appendices
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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