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Lecture 10

HIS102Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Corn Laws, Protectionism, Industrial Revolution


Department
History
Course Code
HIS102Y1
Professor
Robert Bothwell
Lecture
10

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Lecture 10: 10/14/10
Mercantilism
- Navigation acts
- Corn laws
- Tariffs
Free Trade
- John Stewart Mills
Protectionism
Whigs Liberals; Tories Conservatives
-Because the empire is expanding in all sorts of directions – political incoherence
-Empire is divided in terms of system of government (NA colonies of settlement had
elections and assemblies; Australian colonies would eventually get these; East –
paid to local opinion; Indian colonies is ruled as an autocracy [top-down])
-In terms of economic impotence, there is no doubt that Canada is the most
convenient colony because of trade and because of the nature of its trade. During
the Wars, Britain was an island off the coast of Europe – British trade with the
European continent was impeded by the French who thought if they undermined
British trade they would be weakening Britain’s economic favor.
-British government encouraged agriculture in Great Britain, placing a premium on
things such as wheat
-Wheat is called corn in the early 19th century – Corn Laws are about the
production/encouragement of wheat. This is done essentially through tariffs. Done
through imports: tariffs based on quantity or value
-Tariffs are revenue and are the easiest tax to collect.
-Protectionism: the protection of an item in your own territory; tariff raises the price
of the product
-Tariff is a subsidy (you are making the consumer pay; the consumer subsidizes
the consumer in your own territory)
-Tariffs are political convenient because the consumer does not see the tariff
-Tariffs also create (Mill says) interests – you create a tariff, you protect an industry
unless the people in the industry are stupid, they will all be for the tariff because its
profit
-Has political implications
-Mills opinion: corrupts the political system
-1778: British parliament realized that the American Revolution was fueled by
resentment at taxation
-No more taxing the colonists without representation (for imperial resources)
-The imperial power can still control the economics of the colonies for the benefit of
the imperial power
-Canada has a lot of wood (used for masts) – conveniently located around the
Ottawa River
-Strategically, the Canadian forests became important to Britain during the
Napoleonic Wars because Britain had lost many of its trading partners in Europe
-Canada is benefiting from Britain’s strategic policy
-British commercial policy: they lasted as long as the active memory of the
Napoleonic Wars;
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