Conditions of the Industrial Revolution in Britain relevant to contemporary developing economies?

Topics: Economics, Economic development, Economy Pages: 6 (2151 words) Published: November 6, 2013
Lucas Huibers-Professor Jung-Michael-POL 201Y1-Tuesday November 5th-999740945 The Industrial Revolution was vital for the development of Britain in the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Analysts continue to ask what conditions brought about the Industrial Revolution as they believe recreating those conditions might generate economic development in contemporary economies. The three factors that proved most prominent in Britain’s ascension were: colonial influence on markets, numerous effective government market interventions, and the cultural advantages that Protestantism bestowed upon British society. These conditions are still relevant for developing economies to take into account. As modern colonialism is apparent, disguised as free trade, it acts as the detriment and the cause to the lack of development of an autarkic economy. Effective state intervention, the beneficial condition to a developing economy, acts as a bulwark to the dependent relationships fostered under ‘free trade’. The culture effect is beneficial and relevant because it allows for state intervention to be effectively operated; countering the effects that the ‘free trade’ system imposes on peripheries. The beginning of this paper will devote itself to discussing the effects of these conditions in Britain. The latter will discuss how these conditions are capable of having an influence on contemporary developing economies. During the 18th and 19th centuries, colonialism was a reoccurring theme across the European continent. Compared to the French, the British effectively manipulated the goals of colonization. The British did so by focusing on economic gains rather than territorial accession and political polarization. This manipulated form of colonization emphasized the importance of economic success. Through this manipulation and operation of colonialism focusing on economic gains, the global market was created. The Nigerian colony between 1900-1930, gave rise to the growth of industry in Britain. In Nigeria, the British exploited the land and established the territory with the purpose of exporting its raw materials back to Britain. (Citing Ajayi and Crowder) Kohli states that the British solely wanted to create industry within their borders by stimulating “the production and export of cash crops…to encourage the importation of European manufactured goods”1. The British achieved this by creating a relationship that forced Nigeria to be dependent on Britain. This phenomenon, known as dependency theory in political science, initiated a unique industrial cycle in Britain. The banking system, that allowed for the ‘profit motive’ to operate in Britain was a product of colonial tax policies. Capital that was accumulated from the tariffs imposed by the British government on trade with Nigeria, enabled the British government to reinvest their profits into infrastructure in Britain, specifically the banking system. Banks were created to provide loans, and entrepreneurs were able to invest this now available capital in building factories that would mass-produce secondary goods, which were eventually sold back to British colonies. Britain’s colonial practice in Nigeria provided for capital accumulation. This capital then became available to the public. The banking system offered profit-motivated entrepreneurs the chance to borrow capital, which provided the means to birthing a manufacturing base in Britain. Effective state intervention is crucial in explaining economic development in Britain. The Enclosure Act initiated the domino effect of ‘industry evolution’. The British government legitimized the privatization of common land in 18012 with the Enclosure Act. The effects of the enclosure act range widely, but the most beneficial effect of the act was the creation of the labor force. The labor force provides the means to production within the factories that will create secondary goods, further being traded between Britain and its colonies...
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