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The role of the government in the import substitution of sailcloth, cordage and gunpowder in England 1558-1642.

Morris, Martha (2000) The role of the government in the import substitution of sailcloth, cordage and gunpowder in England 1558-1642. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis examines the role of the Crown in the import substitution of munitions of warfare in England from 1558 to 1642. It will attempt to determine whether the Crown was responsible for their introduction and subsequent development, and if it was, why. The cordage, sailcloth and gunpowder industries were chosen as case studies in order to examine this issue. All three were first determined to have been import substituted during this period. While the Crown clearly thought these goods were necessary for national security, it cannot be assumed that it assisted these industries and that it did so because it was concerned that supplies coming from the continent might be difficult to procure. Important aspects to consider are first, the impact of the Crown on these native industries through its direct purchasing behaviour, and secondly, the impact on the industries of government acts and ordinances. If the Crown was interested in reducing dependence on foreign suppliers for these goods, then it would be expected that the Crown would, through purchasing behaviour and through legislation, support the domestic industries. It is argued here that when the Crown did act with the domestic industries in mind, fiscalism and personal finance were important considerations. It often appears to have done nothing at all. This is particularly true of the sailcloth industry. Cordage appears to have received its initial impetus as a result of personal financial concerns, but subsequent Crown support appears to have been fiscal. While interest in a domestic source of gunpowder seems apparent, fiscalism runs like a thread throughout all Crown interactions with the industry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, European, History, Military
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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