This book examines the economic history of the Caribbean in the two hundred years since the Napoleonic Wars and is the first analysis to span the whole region. The study makes use of a specially constructed database to observe trends across the whole region and chart the progress of nearly thirty individual countries.
Its findings challenge many long-standing assumptions about the region, and its in-depth case studies shed new light on the history of three countries in particular, namely Belize, Cuba, and Haiti. Backed by mountains of new data tucked neatly into appendices and a freely accessible website , Bulmer-Thomas shows how success or failure of the Caribbean economies often depended on how they coped with an external economic and policy environment they had little or no capacity to influence.
Separate chapters on Haiti after independence and Cuba since are so insightful that they alone are worth the price of the book. It stands out from other economic histories of the Caribbean both in terms of its comprehensive study of the region as a whole and in its systematic analysis of carefully compiled long-term quantitative data. Bulmer-Thomas uses these time series to provide graphic illustrations of vital features of the region's diverse economies, bringing attention to patterns of growth not previously recognized or understood.
By consistently placing his analysis in the context of global economic history, Bulmer-Thomas offers many correctives to popular pessimistic misconceptions about the economic experience of the Caribbean over the past two centuries. Bulmer-Thomas highlights the range and diversity of the region's economies, while also drawing attention to their structural commonalities. The long and dynamic history of interconnections between the region, each of its component members, and the wider global economy provides the underlying theme of this impressive book.
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Richly sourced with comprehensive research and supported by digitized and meticulously documented historical data, this book will remain a standard for a very long time. Triner, Rutgers University. Preface 1. Introduction Part I. The core and the Caribbean 3. From scarce to surplus labor in the Caribbean 4.
The Economic History of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars
Global commodity trade and its implications for the Caribbean 5. Caribbean foreign trade 6. The domestic economy in the Caribbean 7. The Caribbean in the Age of Preferences: From to 8. The core and the Caribbean 9.
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Caribbean foreign trade The Caribbean domestic economy The core and the Caribbean Structural change in the Caribbean Import substitution, manufacturing export promotion and regional integration in the Caribbean Caribbean economic performance The Cuban economy since the Revolution Statistical appendix. Back to resources home.
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The Economic History of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars
Category: Economics. This book examines the economic history of the Caribbean in the two hundred years since the Napoleonic Wars and is the first analysis to span the whole region. It is divided into three parts, each centered around a particular case study: the first focuses on the nineteenth century 'The Age of Free Trade' ; the second considers the period up to 'The Age of Preferences' ; and the final section concerns the half century from the Cuban Revolution to the present 'The Age of Globalization'.
The study makes use of a specially constructed database to observe trends across the whole region and chart the progress of nearly thirty individual countries. The "early start" theory said that Britain's rivals were doing so well because they were still moving large numbers of farm workers into more lucrative employment, which Britain had done in the 19th century. A second theory emphasized the "rejuvenation by defeat," whereby Germany and Japan had been forced to reequip, rethink and restructure their economic basic.
The third approach emphasized the drag of "Imperial distractions", saying that responsibilities to its large empire handicapped the home economy, especially through defence spending, and economic aid. Finally, the theory of "institutional failure" stressed the negative roles of discontinuity, unpredictability, and class envy. The last theory blamed trade unions, public schools, and universities perpetuating an elitist anti-industrial attitude. The result was a major political crisis, and a Winter of Discontent in the winter of — in during which there were widespread strikes by public sector unions that seriously inconvenienced and angered the public.
Historians Alan Sked and Chris Cook have summarized the general consensus of historians regarding Labour in power in the s:. The Labour Party under Harold Wilson from to was unable to provide a solution either, and eventually was forced to devalue the pound again in Economist Nicholas Crafts attributes Britain's relatively low growth in this period to a combination of a lack of competition in some sectors of the economy, especially in the nationalised industries; poor industrial relations and insufficient vocational training.
He writes that this was a period of government failure caused by poor understanding of economic theory, short-termism and a failure to confront interest groups. Both political parties had come to the conclusion that Britain needed to enter the European Economic Community EEC in order to revive its economy. Charles de Gaulle vetoed a British attempt at membership in and again in The general election in June saw the Conservatives, now led by Edward Heath , achieve a surprise return to government after the opinion polls had suggested a third successive Labour victory.
It was Heath who took the country into the EEC, in However, with the decline of Britain's economy during the s, the trade unions began to strike, leading to a complete breakdown with both the Labour Government of Harold Wilson and later with the Conservative Government of Edward Heath — In the early s, the British economy suffered even more as strike action by trade unions, plus the effects of the oil crisis , led to a three-day week in However, despite a brief period of calm negotiated by the recently re-elected Labour Government of known as the Social Contract , a breakdown with the unions occurred again in , leading to the Winter of Discontent , and eventually leading to the end of the Labour Government, then being led by James Callaghan , who had succeeded Wilson in Unemployment had also risen during this difficult period for the British economy; unemployment reached 1.
It had not fallen below 1 million since , and has remained above this level ever since, rarely dropping below 1. Also in the s, oil was found in the North Sea , off the coast of Scotland, although its contribution to the UK economy was minimised by the need to pay for rising national debt and for welfare payments to the growing number of unemployed people. The election of Margaret Thatcher in marked the end of the post-war consensus and a new approach to economic policy, including privatisation and deregulation , reform of industrial relations, and tax changes.
Competition policy was emphasised instead of industrial policy ; consequent deindustrialisation and structural unemployment was more or less accepted. The Government applied monetarist policies to reduce inflation, and reduced public spending.
By January , unemployment had reached 3 million for the first time since the early s, though this time the figure accounted for a lesser percentage of the workforce than the early s figures, now standing at around According to Eric Hobsbawm , Thatcher oversaw an "industrial holocaust", which saw Britain's industrial capacity decrease by fully one quarter during the years — The electricity, gas and English water industries were split up and sold off.
Exchange controls , in operation since the war, were abolished in The ostensible benefit of this was to give the spur of competition to the British economy, and increase its ultimate efficiency. The early s recession saw unemployment rise above three million, but the subsequent recovery, which saw annual growth of over 4 percent in the late s, led to contemporary claims of a British 'economic miracle'.
However, many of the economic policies put in place by the Thatcher governments have been kept since, and even the Labour Party which had once been so opposed to the policies had by the late s, on its return to government after nearly 20 years in opposition, dropped all opposition to them. Indeed, the Labour Party of the s had taken a shift to the left after the election of Michael Foot as leader in , leading to a split in the party to form the centrist Social Democratic Party , which formed an alliance with the Liberals and contested two general elections, with disappointing results, before merging in to form the Liberal Democrats.
The Conservatives were re-elected in and again in , with a majority of more than seats both times. By the end of , Britain was in the first stages of an economic boom, which saw unemployment fall below 3 million and reach a year low of 1. Interest rates were increased by the government in an attempt to control inflation. In November , Margaret Thatcher stood down from the office of Prime Minister after losing first the confidence and then the support in Parliament of the Conservative Party's MPs, which she needed in order to continue.
John Major was elected her successor.
europeschool.com.ua/profiles/ledetem/conocer-personas-con-vih-en.php The government's popularity was also falling following the introduction of poll tax earlier that year, while unemployment was also starting to increase again as another recession loomed. Opinion polls were suggesting that the next general election could be won by Labour, led by Neil Kinnock since the resignation of Michael Foot in Despite several major economies showing quarterly detraction during , the British economy continued to grow well into , with the first quarterly detraction taking place in the third quarter of the year, by which time unemployment was starting to creep upwards again after four years of falling.
The beginning of another recession was confirmed in January Economic growth was not re-established until early , but the Conservative government which had been in power continuously since managed to achieve re-election in April , fending off a strong challenge from Neil Kinnock and Labour, although with a significantly reduced majority.
The early s recession was officially the longest in Britain since the Great Depression some 60 years earlier, though the fall in output was not as sharp as that of the downturn of the Great Depression or even that of the early s recession. It had started during and the end of the recession was not officially declared until April , by which time nearly 3 million people were unemployed.
The restrictions imposed by the ERM put pressure on the pound, leading to a run on the currency.
It also damaged the credibility of the Conservative's reputation for economic competence, and contributed to the end of the 18 years of consecutive Conservative government in The party had long been divided over European issues and many of these rifts within the party had still not been mended by Despite the downfall of the Conservative government, it had seen a strong economic recovery in which unemployment had fallen by more than 1 million since the end of to 1.
Inflation also remained low, with the ERM exit in being followed by a gradual decrease in interest rates during the years that followed. From May , Tony Blair 's newly elected Labour government stuck with the Conservatives' spending plans. The Chancellor , Gordon Brown , gained a reputation by some as the "prudent Chancellor" and helped to inspire renewed confidence in Labour's ability to manage the economy following the economic failures of earlier Labour governments.
One of the first acts that the new Labour government embarked on was to give the power to set interest rates to the Bank of England , effectively ending the use of interest rates as a political tool. Control of the banks was given to the Financial Services Agency. Labour also introduced the minimum wage to the United Kingdom , which has been raised every year since its introduction in April The Blair government also introduced a number of strategies to cut unemployment, including an expansion of the public sector.
Unemployment was constantly below 1. In the Labour Party's second term in office, beginning in , when it achieved another landslide victory, the party increased taxes and borrowing. The government wanted the money to increase spending on public services, notably the National Health Service , which they claimed was suffering from chronic under-funding. The economy shifted from manufacturing, which had been declining since the s and grew on the back of the services and finance sectors, while the public sector continued to expand. The country was also at war with first Afghanistan , invading in and then Iraq , in - which proved controversial with the British public.
Spending on both reached several billion pounds a year and the government's popularity began to slide, although it did manage to win a third general election under Blair in with a reduced majority. Blair stepped down two years later after a decade as prime minister to be succeeded by the former Chancellor Gordon Brown, the change of leader coming at a time when Labour was starting to lag behind the Conservatives led by David Cameron in the opinion polls.
By this stage, unemployment had increased slightly to 1. This was particularly evident in the car industry, with General Motors Vauxhall and Ford having significantly cut back on UK operations, while Peugeot the French carmaker who had bought the former Rootes Group and Chrysler Europe operations in the late s had completely withdrawn from Britain.
These closures resulted in thousands of job losses, although the biggest single blow to the car industry came in when MG Rover went into liquidation; more than 6, jobs were lost at the carmaker alone and some 20, more were lost in associated supply industries and dealerships, not to mention the business failures and job cuts which befell businesses that had relied largely on trade from the carmaker's employees. This was the largest collapse of any European carmaker in modern times. Growth rates were consistently between 1. The Bank of England's control of interest rates was a major factor in the stability of the British economy over that period [ citation needed ].
Since then, the effects of the Credit crunch have led to a slowdown of the economy. The unemployment rate among to year-olds has risen from On 26 January , it was confirmed that the UK had left its recession, the last major economy in the world to do so. In Q3 of figures released showed the UK economy grew by 0. This is the first time in the United Kingdom's history that this measure has been used, although the Bank's Governor Mervyn King suggested it was not an experiment.
The BoE has stated that the decision has been taken to prevent the rate of inflation falling below the two percent target rate. As of the end of November , the economy had shrunk by 4. It has been suggested that the UK initially lagged behind its European neighbours because the UK entered the recession later. However, German GDP fell 4. The unemployment rate recorded by the Labour Force Survey fell in the fourth quarter of ,  the first of the big 3 economies in the EU to do so.
The economy has now contracted 5. It has been argued that heavy government borrowing over the past cycle has led to a severe structural deficit, reminiscent of previous crises , which will inevitably exacerbate the situation and place the UK economy in an unfavourable position compared to its OECD partners as attempts are made to stimulate recovery, other OECD nations having allowed greater room for manoeuvre thanks to contrasting policies of relatively tighter fiscal control prior to the global downturn. It predicted two quarters of "virtual stagnation" in late and early , followed by a gradual return to "slight positive growth by late ".
In its eyes the UK recession was officially over, although it did warn that "normal economic conditions" had not returned. On the same day, figures also showed UK manufacturing output rising at its fastest rate in 18 months in July.
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