a) There was only one comparatively brief historical period when both developed and underdeveloped sectors of the world had an equal interest in working with and not against the British economy, or when they had no choice in the matter: the decades between the abolition of the Corn Laws in 1846 and the outbreak of the Great Depression in 1873. Many underdeveloped areas had virtually no oneexcept Britain to sell to, since Britain to sell to, since Britain was the only modern economy, The advanced countries were entering the period of rapid industrialization, when their demands for imports especially of capital and capital goods were virtually unlimited.
Britain’s visible trade, became increasingly tied up with the underveloped world, and especially with that sector of it which wasunder effective economic or political control by Britain: the formal or informal empire. Or the peculiar position of Britain made both visible and invisible transactions naturally flow in this direction.
British visible trade, had after 1820 always found it easier to penetrate further into the underveloped world than to break into the more lucrative, but also more resistant and rival developedmarkets, The pattern of Britain’s export in general was similar, though not so extreme as in cotton: a steady flight from the modern, resistant and competitive markets into the undeveloped.
b) Latin America which saved the British cotton industry in the first half of the nineteenth century, when it became the largest single market for its exports reaching thirty five per cent of them in 1840, mainlyto Brazil. Later on in the century it became somewhat less important, though towards the end the British informal colony of Argentina became an important market.
Thanks to the development of Argentina and other dependent economies, doubled its share of British holdings by the 1880’s and thereafter represented about 20 percent in its turn. But the really striking increase was in the “developing”rather than the backward areas of the underveloped world, and especially of the British Empire. The ‘white’ dominions (Canada, Australia, New Empire) raised their share from twelve per cent in the 1860 to almost thirty per cent in the 1880’s and including Argentina Chile, and Uruguay as ‘honorary’ dominions their economies were not dissimilar the rise in these outlets for capital export is moreeven striking.
a) The years 1966 -1969 continued to be shadowed by the problem of Britain’s international balance of payments. Economically speaking, Britain appeared to be “the sick man of Europe” per say, and the British public became accustomed to the newspaper warnings that the pound was once more in peril (danger).
The government, which had entered office in 1964 on a pledge to the endthe “stop-go” syndrome, now instituted the stiffest and most deflationary “stop” of the post WWII period.
The Prices and Incomes Board retained the power to delay and restrain inflationary wage increases, and the April 1968 budget again raised income and sales taxes. Drug prescriptions charges were reimposed, and the implementation of a school leaving age of sixteen was postponed.
Union leadersbecame dischanted with government restrictions that curbed the monetary expectations of their followers. In 1967 and 1968 the number of working hours lost as a result of strikes increased rapidly. A government White Paper on industrial relations “In place of strife” published early in 1969 noted that 95 percent of British labour disputes were wildcat strikes begun in defiance of the elected unionleadership.
b) The Macmillan government, despite the reservations of some of its supporters, decided to embark on what proved to be a remarkably speedy program of independence within the Commonwealth for almost all of the American dependencies, as recently as the 1930’s the British government had felt committed to the preservation of African Tribal institutions.
Yet some of the older...