Especially afterthe North Sea region took over the role of the leading economic centre of Europe from the Mediterranean, which prior to this date, particularly in northern Italy, had been the most highly developed part of Europe. Great Britain, together with the Low Countries, profited more in the long run from the expansion of trade in the Atlantic and Asia than the pioneers of this trade, Spain and Portugal, fundamentally because of the success of the mainly privately owned enterprises in these two Northern countries in contrast to the arguably less successful state-owned economic systems in Iberia.
Essays in British Social and Economic History, The economic splendor of the Golden Age came to an end and Britain only slowly understood its weak position, its internal social problems and a certain degree of paralysis that affected British institutions in the second phase of industrialization.
This collection of short essays is an interesting, though not always exciting, contribution to a redefinition of the economic and social changes affecting Britain in the period between and The interest of these essays relates mainly to the subject they are investigating.
Studies by Dintenfass, Kirby, Elbaum and Lazonick, McCloskey, Sanderson, Wiener and others have substantially reduced the importance attached to the decline of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It is therefore not surprising to find that this book follows the same formula, underplaying the importance of an early economic boom.
Most of the essays, including the introductory essays by Ian Inkster and Harold Perkin, underline how can be considered the conclusion of a period of early industrialization.
The Great Exhibition, for instance, is presented as the culmination of a heroic period of British history in several essays, but at the same time it does not appear to be the starting point of anything new.
Most essays in this book are able to provide a complex image for a complex historical period. Far from being either a period of success or a period of contemplation of achieved results, the golden patina is made up of light and dark.
The book is very diverse in nature. Eighteen essays are divided into four parts, plus two good introductory chapters. Not all essays are at the same qualitative level. Although the result of a series of seminars at Nottingham Trent University, the various papers are not always well connected to each other.
The thematic variety achieved through eighteen essays would have been more suitable for a longer book. There is the clear feeling that some essays could have been extended beyond fifteen pages. The volume is enjoyable, thorough and in many areas well attuned to the recent historiographical debate.
It pulls together new historical research within the wide frame of an important nineteenth-century period. It also explicitly makes no attempt to give any pre-established explanation or paradigm. However these achievements can be partially questioned on a geographical level.
Although the title refers to Britain, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are very much ignored or — perhaps — assimilated into a very anglocentric perspective.
Similarly neither a British imperialistic perspective nor an international vision of British affairs is included here.
At the opposite end of the spectrum the book provides a quite unique local focus with essays on Lancashire and Yorkshire. Other essays provide a high degree of geographical detail. On a temporal level the book has to face the problem of dealing with a restricted period in time.
If this suits essays dealing with particular events easily localized in time, it creates problems for other essays. This volume does not directly challenge any established interpretation of the golden age of British history.
However it provides a useful series of ideas in order to understand British society, culture and economy in the mid-nineteenth century. From the perspective of an historian of the eighteenth-century, it could have said much more on links with an earlier period, part of the so-called long eighteenth century.
This could have allowed the juxtaposition of the period not only with the following period of crisis but also with an earlier period of important economic development and social change.Our Quarterly Bulletin explores topics on monetary and financial stability and includes regular commentary on market developments and UK monetary policy operations.
British Rule ca– Weak Banks and a Stagnant Economy. Private Banks Banks first appeared in Ireland towards the end of the 17th century. The first reference to a bank in Irish law was in an act of which permitted bills of exchange to be made payable to the bearer rather than to a named individual.
The Irish economy had great restrictions placed upon it by the English government. The Green Wood Centre is based in Coalbrookdale just a short way from historic Ironbridge and provides an innovative headquarters for Small Woods set in the woods of the Ironbridge Gorge.
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was once the largest economy in the world. It was the birthplace of modern democracy, the Industrial Revolution, and many of the financial and capital markets that are the foundation of the capitalist economic system.
The economic history of the United Kingdom deals with the economic history of England and Great Britain from to the early 21st century. (For earlier periods see Economy of England in the Middle Ages and Economic history of Scotland).