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Merchant enterprise in Britain [electronic resource] : from the Industrial Revolution to World War I /
Stanley Chapman.
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
xvi, 339 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0521351782 (hardcover)
More Details
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
0521351782 (hardcover)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-12:
Rejecting the manufacturing-based industrial revolution as the explanation of British economic dominance from the late 18th century to WW I, Chapman focuses instead on the varieties of mercantile entrepreneurship and attendant new forms of merchant economic organization as crucial determinants of British economic growth. The author first examines the nature of 18th-century merchant enterprise and the effects of the Industrial Revolution on mercantile structure. Then, he traces the evolution of mercantile enterprise from the new "home trade houses," which secured the home market, and the foreign "international houses" and their influence on British growth and mercantile enterprise, to the "agency house" as a major source of saving capital invested in new enterprises, particularly in the India and Far East trade. Finally, the growth in trade and modern communication and transportation saw the "agency houses" evolve into the broader-based "investment groups," which stimulated economic growth by creating a variety of subsidiary trading, manufacturing, and mining overseas enterprises. For British economic history collections serving advanced undergraduates through faculty. F. Petrella; College of the Holy Cross
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1992
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Main Description
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, since 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.
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
Abbreviations used in the footnotes
Introduction: approaches and concepts
The Setting
The eighteenth-century structure of merchant enterprise
The consequences of the Industrial Revolution and the French wars
New Streams of Enterprise
Merchants in the Atlantic trade
The agency houses: trade to India and the far East
The international houses: the foreign contribution to British mercantile enterprise
The home trade houses
Response to Instant Communication
Problems of restructuring mercantile enterprise
British-based investment groups before 1914
Imperialism and British trade
Performance of british mercantile enterprise
Manuscript sources
Index of firms and people
Index of plates
Index of subjects
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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