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The International Iron Trade At A Crossroads: Swedish And British Debates, 1730–1760

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Chapter Summary

Swedish exporters had exercised hegemony over the international iron trade for a century. In Britain, the second quarter of the eighteenth century was a time of intense debate on bar iron output levels. Africans figured heavily in the expansion of the mid-Atlantic iron industry. Baltic iron remained dominant on the British market in the wake of the American War. Baltic hegemony was not secure, however, in the wake of the American War. It was about to be capsized by the wholesale technological transformation of Britain’s own iron industry. The advent of new coal-based working methods, allied to new political conditions in the Revolutionary Age, reduced Baltic iron to a subaltern role on the British market in little more than a generation.

Keywords: American War; Atlantic iron industry; Baltic iron; British debate; international iron trade; Swedish exporters



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