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Title: Scottish foreign trade towards the end of the pre-industrial period, 1700-1760
Author: Roessner, Philipp Robinson
ISNI:       0000 0001 1572 0367
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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The present thesis examines the trends, structure and fluctuations in Scotland's foreign trade, 1700- 1760 in two parts. Whilst Part I is a general discussion of Scotland's trade, the commodity trades with Germany will be examined en detail in Part II, being a case study of what can be achieved using an eclectic variety of Scottish and other north-western European records in a synoptic view. The analysis commences (chapter 2) with a detailed examination of the institutional framework ("English Restoration Customs System', 1660) that became applicable in Scotland in 1707, in particular a description of the newly introduced customs system and the duties charged, as well as the change in the level of taxation in 1707 and subsequent alterations. With regard to the detailed examination of the Scottish trade volume in chapters 4-6, a particular look will also be taken at the relevance and responsibility of the institutional super-structure for discouraging certain branches of economic activity and thus creating or at least co-determining a particularly Scottish pattern of overseas trade, 1700- 1760. Chapter 3 consists of a detailed analysis of the scope and reliability of the available quantitative sources. Particular attention will be directed at the Scottish customs accounts, which are unique in an eighteenth century (North-western) European context. The technical analysis of the customs accounts will be supplemented by an analysis of the available post-1755 trade statistics, as well as a detailed examination of the match between information contained in the former and the port books for the first year in which both are preserved completely (1755). This discussion will be supplemented by an analysis of other previously unused Customs materials. Chapter 4 examines the composition of the Scottish trade volume in 1707, as well as the most probable trajectory for commercial fluctuations between 1707 and 1755. Some insights into the possible distribution of the Scottish trade volume across ports after 1707 will be presented. The broad discussion will be augmented by an analysis of select branches of the commodity trades, which can be captured slightly more reliably from contemporary statistics, such as the colonial trades, the wine, as well as the grain trades. This analysis is followed by an examination of two unrecorded trades - trade with England and tea smuggling - which both attained significantly large dimensions in total Scottish commercial activity, and which have been so far overlooked by scholars. Chapter 5 takes up the analysis in chapter 4 by providing a concise overview on the composition of the Scottish trade volume in 1754-1760. Chapter 6 draws Part Ito a close by examining possible links between trade and economic growth, as well as the role trade played for the Scottish economy. In the end the peculiar eighteenth-century Scottish trade pattern will be explained. Part II is an en detail examination of Scotland's trade with the German Empire in the period under consideration. Drawing on both Scottish and German customs accounts, the commodity trades will be the subject of discussion in chapter 7. Chapter 8 traces the commercial patterns of individual merchants. The main aim of this chapter is to highlight the European contingency matrix of commodity markets, exchange rates and payments mechanisms, which Scots merchants were exposed to, which they had to consider in their business decisions, and which determined the overall profit levels in the intra-European trades. 1.1 Hypotheses 5
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economic History, Scotland and Britain, 18th Century, Commerce