• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'What is meant by the term "hegemony", and how far can it be applied to Britain's international role in the mid to late 19th century?'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tom Woodling Rise Of The Modern World Order Term 1 Essay 1 'What is meant by the term "hegemony", and how far can it be applied to Britain's international role in the mid to late 19th century?' What is meant by the term 'hegemony', and how far can it be applied to Britain's international role in the mid to late 19th century Surveying the political, economic and military fallout surrounding the Peace of Versailles in 1783, it would have been easy to forgive the pessimism that arose in British political circles after the loss of the American colonies. Indeed, as Sir William Shelburne (who was responsible for negotiating the preliminaries, and much of the content, of the Peace) reflected later '"It appeared a madness...to think of colonies after what had passed in North America."'1 This seemed a huge blow not only to Imperial ambitions, but also to Britain's prestige and position against the European states that had inflicted this defeat on them - France, Spain and Holland. The next decade presented a gradual expansion of trade, and a tense but solid peace, and it was in this time the seeds were sown for a new Empire. ...read more.

Middle

The importance of this is immense, and once a cogent movement formed around it in the 1820s, it formed the bedrock of Britain's economic response to the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. By the middle of the 19th century Britain had established itself as the primary supplier of finance capital into the world markets. There had also been a large flow of capital to the continent, and this is important in the first place for establishing Britain as a hegemon. By the definition given earlier, this export of capital allowed for returns to be accrued from the work of others. These invisible exports were to play an ever-increasing role in balancing Britain's trade, but importantly allowed her political leverage with most of her rivals - although America was still very protectionist at this time due to internal considerations. Free trade was the process by which Britain had opened up the world to her capital, and 'capitalism' became an indispensable fixture in the lexicon of both economists and politicians (see Hobsbawm, 1975, p1) in this period. Free trade was only a concept, though, and it was through the sheer dominance of the Royal Navy and associated maritime ventures in all main shipping routes that was to provide the apparatus. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, the position of the City of London and the returns from overseas capital investment already made - �1,000 millions invested by 1875 (see Hobsbawm, 1975, p34) - gave her some relief. Even Gramsci appreciated this, The composition of the British balance of trade was subject to constant modification for about fifty years prior to the war [WWI]. The part contributed by the export of goods declined in relative importance and equilibrium was reached more and more thanks to so-called invisible exports.6 Drawing together all the evidence, it looks correct to conclude that hegemony as a concept is applicable to Britain's role in the mid to late 19th century. Even though Britain's economic position relative to the rest of Europe and America declined in the final quarter of the century, her efforts before this had built a base to continue operating as the prime world-power, especially in terms of naval power. The loss of ideological supremacy, in terms of liberal politics and free trade, can be seen as symptoms of the hegemonic decline towards the end of the period, but it was not until the outbreak of World War I that Britain's hegemony could resist the expansionist Germany no longer and was finally exorcised. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics essays

  1. Why was Britain the First Industrial Nation?

    Even though Britain's industrial revolution benefited Britain's economy and stimulated change, there were side effects to this extent of economic change. Arnold Toynbee was a historian of the period of change, whose publication in 1884, Lectures on the Industrial Revolution painted a picture of the industrial revolution that had had catastrophic consequences for the mass of the people.

  2. Critically discuss the role and importance of international commercial arbitration as an alternative dispute ...

    who examine all the evidence and then make a decision for the parties. (Mackie (1997), Page 55) This decision is usually binding. Like court-based adjudication, arbitration is adversarial. The presentations are made to prove one side right, the other wrong.

  1. Explain the evolution and characteristics of the debt problems of LDCs. In the light ...

    However, the IMF and World Bank still continue to make sustainability the emphasis of their strategies. The IMF argues that debt cancellation for HIPCs would be unfair since it ignores countries that are not part of the initiative because they have either succeeded in increasing economic growth or have managed to make repayments.

  2. Liberation Theology versus Neo-liberalism

    As a result of these damaging effects of globalization, many people have been left without jobs. In responding to this economic system, Liberation theologians believe that "An economic project that does not respond to the basic needs of humanity on local, national and global level is not a reasonable option" (Lampe).

  1. The economic needs of European countries contributed to the growth of Imperialism in the ...

    Raw materials like rubber from Congo, diamonds from South Africa, cotton from India and Persian oil were exceedingly valuable to European businessmen. Without abundant raw materials, Europe's industrialized economy would almost certainly weaken, sooner or later. These valuable 'necessities' contributed to the growth of Imperialism in India and other resourceful countries.

  2. Essay on Adam Smith

    Even if you look at a health service for instance it is clear to see that you need surgeons to be specialist in certain areas for the best quality service, it would be a service of much lesser standard if every doctor tried to cover every illness, procedure etc.

  1. Critically evaluate Brazil's International Trade Policy in terms of key trade issues and primary ...

    Brazil may have to give up less efficient agricultural output to produce more efficient output. Brazil is a country of immense agricultural potential. With the autonomous trade liberalization and stable economic growth, both absolute advantage and comparative advantage of Brazil needs considerable resource inputs to and labour source particular skilled labour for goods production and packaging.

  2. By the mid nineteenth century, Britain had been the world's strongest economic power for ...

    In the last few decades there has, through extensive and detailed case studies and different economic applications, evolved a more sympathetic view of the British entrepreneur and the problematic climate they were in. McCloskey and Sandberg are willing to go so far and claim that with the benefit of further

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work