18th century mercantilism?
A system of regulations govrning trade - colonies had been obligd to send most of their produce to Britain, to buy British manufactured goods, and use British ships for their imports and exports.
Change from mercantilism?
Although - first half of 19th century this highly protectionist system had been dismantled- new theories of free trade - Dan Smith book: The Wealth of Nations.
Mid 19th century - Br trade was let free from government trading restrictions.
Imperialism of free trade?
The way in which sometimes economic dominanec was sustianed by a limited application of force.
China in the Second Opium War (1856-1860)
China 2nd Opium War
China in the Second Opium War (1856-1860)
- The British Navy was relied upon to enforce British terms.
- The British sought the opening of all of China to their merchants, an ambassador in Beijing, legalisation of the opium trade, the exemption of imports from tariffs and thus to renegotiate their commercial treaties with China.
- Qing government of Emperor Xianfeng refused these requests and consequently a conflict developed starting when British forces arrived at Hong Kong.
- The situation worsened following a failed attempt by the city’s Chinese bakers to poison the city’s European population.
- Led by Admiral Sir Michael Seymour and Lord Elgin, the British crushed all opposition ; Prince Gong met with the Western diplomats and accepted the Convention of Peking, whereby the Chinese were forced to accept the validity of the Treaties of Tianjin, give part of Kowloon to Britain, open Tianjin as a trade port, allow religious freedom, legalise the opium trade, and pay reparations to Britain and France.
Why was trade with Empire so easy?
Countries of the Empire used a common language and a common or tied currency and shared a common system of commercial law.
Borrowing in the London capital markets was also cheaper because lenders had faith in the reliability of British posessions.
An ‘industrial empire’
Term used in which the colonies supplied both the foodstuffs and the raw materials which Br industry converted into finished goods for export and which very often the colonies bought back.
Third quarter of the 19th century
20% of British imports came from its colonies, while the Empire provided a market for 1/3 of British exports.
The City of London became the world’s financial capital as British investment oversees increased and sterling became the main currency of international trade.
Technological improvements: railways, steamships, underwater cables and telegraph lines as well as innovations in banking and company organisation.
The first colonial conference of 1887
While Britain adopted free trade, there was no international free trade vetween the colonies and the self-governing settler colonies were permittted to adopt protective tarriff systems of their own.
The first Colonial Conference of 1887 disxussed the issue of whether there should be some special trading prefernece between colonies - creating a ‘free trade empire’ but this was turned down by Britain.
Several colonies: beginning with Canada in 1859 and subsequently Australia in 1860s chose to impose tarriffs against imported manufacturers (including those of Britain) in order to protect their own growing industries.
Ships and shipping
Sailing ships - highest rate of efficiency in 1860s - clippers sailing all over world - particular on route to China and the East. - Suited ideally to low volume, high profit good.
Competition amongst clippers - fierce - their times recorded in newspapers.
short life expectancy - had to be broken up in 20 years use.
British iron-hulled ocean going ships made more efficient by the devlopment of the compound steam engine in the 50s.
From the 50s, steamship companies reduced the trade time between Britain and West Africa to less than 3 weeks and increased their cargo capacity.
1870s - development of triple expansion steam engin and severel Br companies sending steam trading vssels inland - up the Niger.
Boom years - 1843+ as a result fo the Treaty of Nanking and the growing demand for tea from China. - Their predominance was short lived after Suez Canal in 1869.
The colonies’ resulting dependence on Britain (for building railways and infrastructure) could be used to presurise governments - Canada forcd to accept Br policies on defence in 1860s.
Railways - largest single investment of the period in the slef governing colinies of canada, Aus, NZ and SA - they opened up the Canadian prairies, enabled Australia to export its wheat and wool and offered SA a chance to expand its territories and commerial interest into the interior.
India - railways may have been built with a strategic purpose in mind - they also linked the cotton and jute growing areas of the north with the mills of Bonbay and Calcutta and enabled rice to reach ports for export.
Canals - India and Canada?
In India, new canals were developed on huge scale after 1857.
In Canada after 1867, canals were deepened arounf St Lawrence/Great Lakes seaway system and the Welland Canal was built to overcome height differences between Lake Eyrie and Ontario.
Up to 1875 - Br and Empire?
In 1875 only 26% of exports went to the Empire.
1970-1914 the Empire becomes more important - largely because the Br found it harder to keep with the rapidly industrialising nations of USA and Germany.
Empire - a trading bonanza?
Assumptions that the Empire was a trading bonanza are overstated - the Imperial Federation League, set up in 1884 to promote closer ties with the imperial possessions, disbanded in 1893 reflecting a lack of interest in the Empire’s commercial importance.
Indian coolies were transported to work in the West Indian colonies for fixed periods - usually 5 years in return for their transport.
- Some also taken to SA.
Where were plantations?
There were plantations for sisal in Kenya and Tanganyika, for coffee and tea in Ceylon and Kenya, for tea in India, for sugar in Mauritius and Natal, for rubber and palmoil in Malaya and North Borneo, for coconuts in the Soloman islands and for sugar in Fiji and in Queensland Australia.
New tea plantations in India?
New tea plantations established at Coonoor in the Nigiri Hills by Henry Mann and By James Taylor in the 1860s and by Arthur Hall at Nelliampathy in Kerala in the 1870s.
In 1886 where were gold deposits found?
What wa significant about this?
On the Witwatersrand. This prompted a gold rush to the previously struggling, rather poor Dutch Boer Republic of the Transvaal.
At the very time tin mines were closing down in Cornwall, the Transvaal gold mines required skilled labourers and over 30,000 travelled there from Britain.
When did the Kimberley Diamond Syndicate form?
1890 - due to the further dicovery of diamonds in the area - Transvaal
Facts for gold discovery in Australia?
Gold was discovered in New South Wales, Australia in 1851 and by 1866 Victoria was producing £124 million worth of gold - 1/3of the then total world production.
New South Wales produced a further £25 million worth.
1860s - Australian mines began to run dry. ALthough later dicovery in the 1880s.
Argument for ans against the system of trade in Empire established by the British on the people?
On the one hand, undeveloped areas were propelled to modernise, thanks to British capital and technology
On the other hand: their independent economic development was curbed by the way the br controlled and exploited their economie.
Lord Palmerston and free trade
‘It is thebusiness of the government to open and secure the roads for the merchant, but no more.’
They had been the normal means fo organising trade in the colonies until the mid 1850s.
Govn allows trading to proceed at its own pace in the 50sand 60s seeing competition between rival companies as a healthy sign of successful capitalism.
Attitudes changed in 1870s - idea of the chartered company revived as a way of extending br trade and control at no cost of govn. (great depression).
1881 - North Borneo Trading Company 1886 - Royal Niger Company 1888 - IBEAC 1889 - BSAC Suppoting this development of chartered companies the Imperiall federation League (1884) to promote colonial unity.
When was talk of a ‘free trade empire’ first discussed?
1887 - the first Colonial Conference - turned down by Br
What law repeal allowed for complete free trade?
The final repeal of the protectionism Corn Laws 1846, which allowed for complete free trade and removed tariffs on imported corn.
Why was Br so committed to free trade?
Br was the foremost industrial nation - it simply produced the most stuff and so had an obvious interest in selling it to the most places - and it could also undercut any competition.
Facts to show that the Empire was a valuble outlet for british products in 1867.
In 1867 - India imported goods worth £21 million, which made it a market equal to Br’s largest foreign customer, the US.
Exports to Australia totalled £8million, Canada £5.8million.
British raw cotton and tea imports from India comapring 1854 to 1876?
And what is significant about these figures?
Raw cotton (1854 - £1,600,000) (1876 - £5,800,000)
Tea (1854 - £24,000) (1876 - £2,000,000)
What is significant about the above figures is that India then bought back the finished products from Britain - and so prevented them developing their own industries.
By 1914 how many of Lancashire’s cottone exports was India taking?
1914, India was taking 25% of all Lancashire cotton exports
In the 1890s how large was the whole imperial army and who paid for it?
1890s the whole imperial army totalled 325,000 troops: 2/3 of this entire force was paid for by the Indian taxpayer, so helping the Br maintain their global role without footing anywhere near the whole bill.
What did Winston Churchill call East Africa?
Winston Churchill called East Africa ‘the America of the Hindu’ showing the scale of Indian labour in the region
In 1914 how many of Br’s exports did India take?
India took about 20% of Britain’s total exports, worth about £150m by 1914.
How much did the proportion of Indian public debt in the City of London rise to from 1858 to 1914?
The proportion of Indian public debt held in the City of London rose from 7% in 1858 to 60% in 1914, with the interest obviously going into the pockets of the British.
In 1880 and 1910 how much money did Britain export to Latin America?
In 1880 Br exported £17 million to Latin America - by 1910 it was over £50 million
By WW1 how much of Br trade was with Latin America?
Investment in Latin America on 1875 sompared to 1913?
1875 saw £175 million - 1913 it was at £1200 million
The gem in the British South American Crown was..
By 1913 how much was invested in Argentina?
And how mcuh was it providing of British overseas property income?
1913 - £360 million
By 1913, Latin America was providing around 1/4 of British overseas property income
Facts about Br investment and trade with USA?
Br investment in the US surged upwards from £500 million in 1899 to £800 million by 1914.
By 1913, the Americas accounted for 1/5 of Br’s exports and 1/3 of imports, more than half of her overseas investment and almost 3/4 of her international shipping.
In 1894 Br had imported 64mn hundredweight of wheat - 30.7mn of which came from the USA
What was the Empire’s total trade worth in 1896? and what was surpising about this?
The Empire’s total trade in 1896 was worth 745 million, but only in cheese apples and potatoes and fresh mutton was the Empire Br’s main food supplier.