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British Shipping And World Trade: Rise And Decline, 1820–1939

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Chapter Summary

Until the beginning of the eighteenth century the economic development of England and Wales was little different from that of its neighbours in Western Europe. The development of the canal network in the period from 1760 to 1830 extended the benefits of cheap transport to a large part of inland Britain. This chapter examines the way in which the British mercantile marine reacted to this challenge during the period from 1820 to 1939. This necessarily involves an account of the enormous changes which affected shipping during this era of industrialization, and much of the study is designed to show how shipping evolved particularly in the years between 1870 and 1920. Details of the growth of world trade and British participation are considered so that a measure of the industry's relative efficiency in both servicing and promoting overseas trade can be discerned.

Keywords: British shipping; economic development; England; Wales; Western Europe; World trade



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