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Title: In pursuit of profit? : local enterprise in south-west Wales in the eighteenth century
Author: Matthews, M. D.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1998
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This work considers the role of indigenous entrepreneurs and enterprise in the economic development of the south-west Wales region 1690-1830, with particular reference to the County of Carmarthenshire. The aim of this thesis is to demonstrate that local initiative and enterprise could be vigorous and active during the period and was distinct from the activities of interlopers and aristocrats. After an initial contextualisation and critical review of the current historiography of enterprise in the history of the economic development in Wales, two chapters which explore the twin themes of the socio-economic climate in which local enterprise operated, and the entrepreneurial activities of the local gentry, provide a further background against which to set this examination of local enterprise. The main evidence, covering the period 1690-1830, is presented as five major reconstructions of enterprises - with an account of their originators - based primarily on surviving correspondence and business accounts. Each reconstruction examines the background of the entrepreneur, the nature and extent of the enterprise, the way in which it was financed and the amount and type of employment which was generated. The conclusions to this study will suggest that there are certain aspects of the received view of the nature of enterprise in the process of Welsh industrialisation which require further testing, and that a reassessment of the role of indigenous enterprise in the economic development of Wales is overdue. Questions are also raised as to whether there is a case for arguing that there may have been a failure of indigenous enterprise at the close of the eighteenth century, and some of the possible mechanisms for such failure are outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available