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Asses the role and significance of the British Empire for the development of the nineteenth century international economy - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# The Imperial Role of the Nineteenth Century British Economy One of the primary benefits that the United Kingdom was able to leverage and utilize to its full benefit was that of the empire upon which it had to draw upon during its development and industrial revolution…
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Asses the role and significance of the British Empire for the development of the nineteenth century international economy
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Download file to see previous pages As compared with other powers that were not able to leverage an empire, or an empire of the sheer size and breadth/complexity and diverse peoples and markets as that which the United Kingdom had, were not nearly so competitive during this time. In such a way, these competitive powers help to show the level to which the United Kingdom’s dominance was nearly supreme. As a means of understanding this actuality, the reader should consider that the United Kingdom’s empire afforded it two extremely essential resources towards achieving and maintaining dominance within economics. These two factors were the markets which the existence of the empire afforded as well as the raw materials which the empire itself could supply. One might more broadly consider the degree of cheap and oftentimes free labor that the existence of the empire also provided as yet another key determinant in economic power and hegemony (Hagerman 2009, p. 345). As a function of this brief overview and analysis these three factors will be briefly considered and analyzed to help create the case that the existence of the empire and the economic power and strength that the United Kingdom was able to exhibit during the nineteenth century were mutually exclusive (Libecap et al 2011, p. 300). In short, without the empire, the power and dominance of the United Kingdom, both militarily, economically, and politically would not have been possible. Firstly, with regards to the raw resources that the empire afforded to the development of the British economy, with the lack of such an empire, the resources that the economy required would have been exponentially more expensive. Likewise, due to the fact that the mechanisms of resource extraction could take place throughout the British Empire and return these raw materials to the home island, finished products could then be developed and manufactured from these raw materials. By reducing the necessity to pay market prices for resources, something that any other economic power that did not retain an expansive empire during this time would need to do, the British Empire was able to provide integral resources for the production of relatively low-cost goods which in turn could be marketed and sold to the remainder of the world; as well as back to the very economies which the resources were originally taken from (Desbordes 2008, p. 128). This brings us to the second point, market places. As the British Empire spread over the entire globe, this necessarily meant that a litany of nations, regions, tribal groups and other segmentations of peoples and territory were introduced to the goods that the United Kingdom had to offer for sale (Candlin 2009, p. 524). Similarly, because there was a monopolistic type economic arrangement that existed within the empire, the ability to purchase for the competition states was a non-existent option. In this way, the United Kingdom had a captive market in which to resell the finished goods that the very same empire had supplied the raw materials for in the first place (Stuart 2008, p. 4). Finally, this analysis will consider the fact that the empire itself provided extraordinarily cheap labor which provided the Empire with a means to extract a great deal of material wealth and/or natural resources at a cost that none of the competing economic powers in Europe or the United States could match at the time (Roy 2003, p. 398). This again acted as a type of symbiotic relationship ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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