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Assess the validity of the notion of 'decline' for historians seeking to explain British economic development between 1870 and 1914

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Introduction

Assess the validity of the notion of 'decline' for historians seeking to explain British economic development between 1870 and 1914 In the late eighteenth century, Britain became the first country to endure the industrial revolution, which broadened to Europe, and then to the United States.i The new technology created, lead to a diverse range of resources, and an expanding market. Britain could not sustain the leadership it had established though, and in 1870-1914 there was an inescapable decline. In comparison to other countries Britain's GNP was not particularly quick, over the entire duration of the nineteenth century, and significantly between 1870 and 1913.ii Even though international evaluations in this area present a variety of complications and uncertainties, Angus Maddisons quotes and figures can be used as a method of analysis.iii Concerning growth of total output, Great Britain was in 8th position, joint equal with the Netherlands, and Norway. Just France and Italy came lower than her. For per-capita output, Britain's rank was 9th on the list, and regarding productivity England was tenth.iv The tables used only list twelve countries, which definitely suggest that Britain had not maintained its high economic growth, which it retained in the 1830's period, or even in the 1860's. ...read more.

Middle

The grandfather was long dead, it was he who produced the business, driven by a hard upbringing, and determined to succeed. The son, habitually respected his father deeply, and practised the same methods, had handed the rights to the third generation. These men of immense wealth had not been brought up the hard way like their father, and grandfather. They had been educated in a public school, where they were not taught adequately enough to prepare to manage an industrial taking. In a nutshell, they paid little attention to the amendments taking place in the world economy, or to the development made by their competitors. xiii This lead to an ignorance among manufacturers that was destructive. Instead of endeavouring new machines and new systems, they distinctively made constant repairs, or at best substituted old machinery, for new similar equipment. This regard for tradition stunted potential growth of the economy, by ignoring technical and management matters where the new American methods rising at the end of the nineteenth century would have benefited Britain. The surroundings for innovation were becoming more and more diverse, than to those imposed at the start of the nineteenth century. ...read more.

Conclusion

The decline was however constrained to industrial production and productivity, united with a regressive disposition in technology.xix Great Britain had a superior position in the field of services. However a combination of factors including, lack of innovation, education, investment, ambition, meant that Britain was in decline in 1870-1913. i The Growth Of The International Economy 1820-1920 pg 9 A.G.Kenwood and A.L.Lougheed ii The Victorian Economy pg 377 Crouzet iii The Victorian Economy footnote 17 pg 377 Crouzet iv The Victorian Economy pg 378 Crouzet v The Victorian Economy table 29 pg167 Crouzet vi The Victorian Economy pg 378 Crouzet vii The Victorian Economy pg 380 Crouzet viii Economic Change In England pg23 Sayers ix The Victorian Economy pg 381 Crouzet x The Victorian Economy pg 383 Crouzet xi The Victorian Economy pg 384 Crouzet xii The Victorian Economy pg 386 Crouzet xiii The Victorian Economy pg 408 Crouzet xiv The Victorian Economy pg 420 Crouzet xv The Growth Of The International Economy 1820-1920 pg 150 A.G.Kenwood and A.L.Lougheed xvi The Growth Of The International Economy 1820-1920 pg 70 A.G.Kenwood and A.L.Lougheed xvii The Growth Of The International Economy 1820-1920 pg 75 A.G.Kenwood and A.L.Lougheed xviii English Culture and The Decline Of The Industrial Spirit 1850-1980 pg 167 Wiener xix The Victorian Economy pg 421 Crouzet The Economic History Of Modern Britain Page 1 5/8/2007 ...read more.

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