Sunday, July 27, 2014

Long Tradition of Trading and Commercial Activities of England

England possessed a long tradition of involvement with trade and commerce. Her trading and commercial activities began to grow since the adventurous days of the Geographical Discoveries. It received a tremendous impetus during the Tudor period in the late 15th and 16th centuries. Two commercial treaties, Malus Intercursus and Magnus Intercursus, concluded with Burgundy and the Netherlands, during the reign of ‘Henry VII (1485-1509), boosted England’s woolen textile trade. The trend continued in the reigns of Henry VIII (1509-47) and Elizabeth (1558-1603) and the latter’s reign is particularly significant for the expansion of merchant shipping. Ail this helped the creation of a steady base of merchant capitalism, which in turn, helped the rise of industries. The Stuart period also saw uninterrupted commercial growth, particularly during the military rule of Oliver Cromwell (1649-60).
The Commercial Revolution, that reached its speak during the 17th and early 18the centuries, witnessed unprecedented growth of trade and commerce and consequently large-scale accumulation of merchant or commercial capital. The Bank of England was established in 1694, the Lloyd’s Insurance and the London’s Stock Exchange also came up around the same period.

These great and everlasting legacies of the Commercial Revolution – the Bank of England, the Lloyd’s Insurance and the London Stock Exchange – brought enormous capital to England. This continuous flow of capital later made possible the Industrial Revolution.

A very significant aspect of the commercial activities that further helped the growth of capital was the fast development of England’s merchant shipping. This helped her to become the major exporting nation. All these increased English capital.

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