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The British Textile Trade in South America in the Nineteenth Century


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Part of Cambridge Latin American Studies

  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107480940

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About the Authors
  • This is the first work on British textile exports to South America during the nineteenth century. During this period, textiles ranked among the most important manufactures traded in the world market and Britain was the foremost producer. Thanks to new data, this book demonstrates that British exports to South America were transacted at very high rates during the first decades after independence. This development was due to improvements in the packing of textiles; decreasing costs of production and introduction of free trade in Britain; falling ocean freight rates, marine insurance and import duties in South America; dramatic improvements in communications; and the introduction of better port facilities. Manuel Llorca-Jaña explores the marketing chain of textile exports to South America and sheds light on South Americans' consumer behaviour. This book contains the most comprehensive database on Anglo-South American trade during the nineteenth century and fills an important gap in the historiography.

    • The first study of British textile exports to Latin America during the nineteenth century
    • One of the first studies of consumer behaviour in post-independence Latin America and the first study of nineteenth-century textile consumer behaviour
    • Contains the most comprehensive database on Anglo-Latin American trade for 1815–79. In total, 35,000 records were entered for British exports and 15,000 records for British imports
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    • Winner of the 2013 Vicens Vives Prize, Spanish Economic History Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Meticulous research, an imaginative use of evidence, and informed speculation characterize [this book]. Focusing on the British textile trade with South America, Llorca-Jaña offers the first systematic and comprehensive analysis of the commercialization of a key product, drawing on rich new qualitative and quantitative sources … a significant contribution to the study of the emergence of a global economy in the early nineteenth century …' Colin M. Lewis, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'Llorca-Jaña's book goes farther than any other in filling the knowledge gap regarding Britain's export trade with the newly independent countries of South America. The work shines a bright new light on a statistical dark age. It is breathtaking in its mining of previously untapped primary sources, especially the records of merchants. Not since Platt's classic study has there been a contribution as substantive as this one.' William Summerhill, University of California, Los Angeles

    'Manuel Llorca-Jaña has produced a fine monograph about the textile trade in the Southern Cone of Latin America, pre-eminently Argentina and Chile, and British mercantile activity there during the early nineteenth century … an impressive piece of scholarship. The bibliography alone is immense. The book is … the result of painstaking research in British public and business archives, during which no stone seems to have been left unturned … a pleasurable read because Llorca-Jaña has an easy style: his prose is clear and lucid and his arguments are clearly defined.' Robert G. Greenhill, Journal of Latin American Studies

    'In this exceptional monograph, Manuel Llorca-Jaña argues that the southern cone of Latin America (what is today Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile) in the nineteenth century was a large, dynamic, and competitive market for British textiles … an enormous achievement and a substantial increase in our understanding of the early nineteenth century in Latin American trade.' Peter Sims, Economic History Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107480940
    • length: 410 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 38 b/w illus. 36 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Trade Data:
    1. Introduction
    2. Britain's textile exports to the Southern Cone: the data
    Part II. The Market Chain:
    3. The main links in the market chain
    4. Knowing, adapting to, and managing demand
    5. Contracts and commissions
    6. Paying for textiles: return remittances
    Part III. Explaining the Data:
    7. Developments in the industrialising core
    8. Developments in the Southern Cone
    9. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Manuel Llorca-Jaña, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Fondecyt, Chile
    Manuel Llorca-Jaña is a Fondecyt research fellow at the University of Chile and is currently a visiting lecturer in world economic history at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Department of Economics and Business). He has published articles in edited collections and in Business History and the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History. He is also a regular contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Llorca-Jaña's Ph.D. thesis was short-listed for the Coleman Prize in 2011, awarded by the Association of Business Historians to the best Ph.D. thesis in business history. He has presented papers at diverse conferences in Paris, Milan, Utrecht, Venice, Barcelona, London, Leicester, Reading, Nottingham and Swansea.


    • Winner of the 2013 Vicens Vives Prize, Spanish Economic History Association

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