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The lobbying activities of provincial mercantile and manufacturing interests against the renewal of the East India Company’s charter, 1812-1813 and 1829-1833

Kumagai, Yukihisa (2008) The lobbying activities of provincial mercantile and manufacturing interests against the renewal of the East India Company’s charter, 1812-1813 and 1829-1833. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to reassess Cain and Hopkins’ gentlemanly capitalist explanation of British imperialism in Asia during the first half of the nineteenth century through examining the lobbying activities of provincial mercantile and manufacturing interests against the renewal of the East India Company’s charter during the periods 1812-1813 and 1829-1833. This thesis particularly has focused on Glasgow’s lobbying activities although Liverpool and Manchester’s cases have also been examined. In Cain and Hopkins’ model, the position of provincial manufacturing interests was outside from the gentlemanly capitalists’ circle consisting of non-industrial capitalists based in London and South-east England, such as the landed aristocracy, the merchants and bankers of the City and professions. Economically, there was a split between these gentlemanly capitalists and the provincial manufacturing interests, and politically, the provincial interests could exercise minor influence on the national politics. This thesis has contributed to three issues related to Cain and Hopkins’ gentlemanly capitalist thesis. The firs issue is the degree of influence of provincial commercial and manufacturing interests on the formation of Britain’s imperial policy. The second issue is the relationship between the gentlemanly capitalists in London and the provincial mercantile and manufacturing interests. The third issue is the Scots contribution to the formation of the British Empire, to which they failed to give their attention. Regarding the first issue, this thesis has demonstrated that the provincial mercantile and manufacturing interests organised effective lobbying activities for the opening of the East India and China trades and succeeded in exerting undeniable influence over the state’s decisions in both the first and second campaigns through well-organised lobbying strategies, powerful lobbing means, and their access to the centre of the national politics through their influential parliamentary supporters. In this thesis, the provincial lobbyists’ economic interests and political backgrounds have closely been examined. Although the provincial lobbyists’ economic and political interests were varied and they split up over some economic and political issues, these did not affect their unity in their challenge against the London merchants’ dominance in the East India trade. This contrasts with Cain and Hopkins’ argument on the gentlemanly capitalists’ superior influence on the national politics. In terms of the second issue, this thesis has shown that there is no evidence for the collaboration between the provincial interests and the London merchants during the 1812-1813 campaign. Nevertheless, as the connection between the provincial manufacturing interests and the London agency houses grew after the opening of the India trade, in the 1829-1833 campaign, the provincial lobbyists and some of the London mercantile interests showed their collaboration. Therefore, this thesis supports the application of Webster’s more complex model than Cain and Hopkins’ original model to British imperialism in Asia during this period. Finally, in respect of the Scots contribution to the formation of British Empire, during these two national campaigns for the opening of the East India trade, the Glasgow lobbyists were very active and the GEIA played a significant role in their lobbying activities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: History, East India Company, Glasgow East India Association, Gentlemanly Capitalism, British Imperialism.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Supervisor's Name: Ross, Dr Duncan and French, Professor Michael
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Mr. Yukihisa Kumagai
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-367
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:18
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/367

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