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Harvesting Power: Transatlantic Merchants and the Anglo-American Grain Trade, 1795-1890

Finger, Thomas
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
Finger, Thomas
Advisor
Russell, Edmund
Onuf, Peter
Thomas, Mark
Carlson, W
Abstract
Between 1795 and 1889, the Anglo-American grain trade grew to provide Great Britain with most of its food imports. At first, bottlenecks in transportation and markets limited trade. Between the 1820s and 1870s, merchants built infrastructure by mobilizing business associations, capital, technology, and nature. British and American merchants invested in American transportation and participated in free trade debates during the 1840s. Following the repeal of the British Corn Laws in 1846, American and British merchants stitched together regional markets to send American wheat to Britain. By the 1870s, three key American regions supplied Britain with grain: the Great Lakes Corridor, California, and the Spring Wheat Region of the northern plains. In the late 1870s, American exports increased as British crops failed. Between 1875 and 1890, American wheat exports rose further as British merchants invested in American milling and transportation. By 1890, the American and British wheat markets converged. This convergence encouraged large commercial agriculture in the United States and a reliance on imports to feed industrial Great Britain.
Published
University of Virginia, Department of History, PHD, 2014
Published Date
2014-12-18
Degree
PHD
Collection
Libra ETD Repository
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