Economic History Essay, Research Paper

During the 19th century Great Britain was one the major foreign loaners of capital to states in Europe, Asia, and Americas. While in the late 1820s most of the British investings were concentrated in the North America, in 1860-1870 Empire states became the major receiver of British capital. India was the most engrossing part of British financess, there Britain invested 95m. in railroads between 1845 and 1875. After 1870 about one half of British investings concentrated in Empire states. However, the United States besides kept on having British capital outward flow, which was largely invested in railway companies. Why did the British lend so much money abroad during the period of 1870-1914?

First of wholly, it was unprofitable for Britain to put money at place for the British economic system was depressed at that period of clip ; that & # 8217 ; s why Britain kept gaining a higher rate of return by puting the capital in foreign states. Assorted foreign transit and industrial investing undertakings with high rates of return were another ground for Britain to apportion its financess abroad. A demand for groceries and natural stuff increased significantly due to the Europe & # 8217 ; s industrialization and the growing of its population, which led to an addition of British investings to Europe: Britain became a provider of natural stuff and groceries to Europe. Since European states every bit good as Empire states were really of import markets for manufactured goods, they became a part to which Britain directed its foreign investings. After holding found gold finds in Australia, British investings increased even more. The ground why Britain to a great extent invested in railway companies in Canada, India, and Australia ; in railwaies and canals in the United States ; in excavation and fabrication in Latin America and Australasia is because the profitableness of puting abroad significantly depended on where the financess were invested. If invested in economically utile and desirable Fieldss, such as in overhead capital or in industrial endeavors located in the growing sectors of the borrowing economic system, the likeliness of default was diminished, for s

uch investings favorably affected growing rates, and at the same clip trended to spread out exports, so that the agencies for paying income to foreign investors was provided by the usage of the financess ( Kenwood & Lougheed, 38 ) . Much of the capital that was invested in uneconomic Fieldss, such as wars, was lost. However, some of the investing income from abroad was used fruitfully, which made new loans for foreign borrowers available. Lending capital to foreign states was really profitable for Britain since the countries- borrowers used the money to speed up the international specialization of production and development of the Great Plains part, to put up railroads ( which dramatically expanded the land boundary lines ) , which enabled to acquire a cheaper manner of providing the state ( Britain ) with groceries and natural stuff.

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All in all, while some economic experts argue that Britain tended to put a batch of capital everyplace but at place due to its diminished economic system and the lag in its productiveness growing, others say that British distribution of income and wealth led to inclinations to oversave, with the extra carried off abroad. Institutional factors are besides said to hold influenced the capital export ( Michael Edelstein, 173 ) .

It is rather hard to give a straightforward reply to the inquiry whether Britain s export of capital caused jobs ( economic lag ) for British economic system. While some economic experts believe that Britain s inordinate investing in foreign states affected British economic system enormously by restricting the handiness of capital financess to domestic industry and therefore forestalling Britain from working new at that clip techniques, many economic experts argue that it was non limitations or abroad capital trade stoppages that were the prevailing method for promoting domestic, scientifically based industry ; but it was duties and publically supported general and proficient instruction ( Michael Edelstein, 196 ) .


R. Floud and D. McCloskey, Econimic History of Britain Since 1700, chapter 7, pp173-196 ( Michael Edelstein )

A.G. Kenwood and A.L. Lougheed, The Growth of the International Economy 1920-1990, chapter 2, pp25-38.


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