Liverpool occupies a prominent position in the contemporary popular imagination. In spite of decades of economic decline, urban decay and a name associated by some with poverty and crime, the city's reputation is by no means a negative one. The book is a collection of essays that focuses on the strength of Liverpool's merchant marine, representing both informal and formal empire over centuries. It discusses the interracial relationships in 1950s and 1960s Liverpool to demonstrate that many African and Afro-Caribbean sailors (and others) married or had relationships with white women. Given existing deficiencies in the historiographies of both Liverpool and the British Empire, the book aims to reassess both Liverpool's role within the British imperial system and the impact on the port city of its colonial connections. Liverpool's success has often been attributed to, and marred by, its being the leader in the slave trade after 1750. Napoleonic Wars were a period of great turbulence and difficulty for the Liverpool commercial community. Liverpool is perceived as a diasporic city, however, its ambiguous nineteenth-century identity reflected the tensions of its complex migrant connections. An analysis of Liverpool's business connections with South America reveals its relative commercial decline and the notion of 'gentlemanly capitalism'. The African ethnology collection of National Museums Liverpool's (NML) ethnology collections are displayed in the 'World Cultures' gallery of the World Museum Liverpool, which opened in 2005. Liverpool is perhaps not exceptional, though its networks are notable and striking.
The book is a comparative analysis of Scotland, Ireland and Wales’s participation in the English East India Company between c.1690 and c.1820. It explains the increasing involvement of individuals and networks from these societies in the London-based corporation which controlled contact between the early modern British and Irish Isles and one hemisphere of world trade. Scottish, Irish, and Welsh evidence is used to consider wider questions on the origins, nature and consequences of the early modern phase of globalisation, sometimes referred to as ‘proto-globalisation’. The book contributes to such debates by analysing how these supposedly ‘poorer’ regions of Europe relied on migration as an investment strategy to profit from empire in Asia. Using social network theory and concepts of human capital it examines why the Scots, Irish and Welsh developed markedly different profiles in the Company’s service. Chapters on the administrative elite, army officers and soldiers, the medical corps and private traders demonstrate consistent Scottish over-representation, uneven Irish involvement and consistent Welsh under-representation. Taken together they explore a previously underappreciated cycle of human capital that involved departure to Asia, the creation of colonial profits, and the return back of people and their fortunes to Britain and Ireland. By reconceptualising the origins and the consequences of involvement in the Company, the study will be of interest to historians of early modern Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Britain, the East India Company and the early phases of British imperialism in Asia.
‘gentlemanlycapitalism’ during the 1980s. Cain and Hopkins
argued that one outstanding feature of the late nineteenth century was
‘the reassertion of London’s pre-eminence as a centre of
power in comparison with the industrial provinces, which had been the
main source of political and social dynamism earlier in the
This process reflected the relative decline of Britain
Some insights into a provincial British commercial network
limitations of gentlemanlycapitalism: the London East India agency
houses, provincial commercial interests and the evolution of British
economic policy in South and South East Asia, 1800–50’,
Economic History Review, 59:4 (2006),
Sheryllynne Haggerty, Anthony Webster, and Nicholas J. White
Not surprisingly, Liverpool and indeed other provincial cities have
received limited attention in the work of Peter Cain and Antony Hopkins.
In proposing the notion of ‘gentlemanlycapitalism’, Cain
and Hopkins have argued that Britain’s overseas expansion in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the survival, revival
and contraction of British imperial power during the twentieth century
money came from the Empire. 3 What does this mean
for the relationship between empire building and landed property in
Britain? That relationship has been examined most extensively by P. J.
Cain and A. G. Hopkins, who argue that ‘gentlemanlycapitalism’ was the driving force behind Britain’s imperial
expansion. Cain and Hopkins attribute the expansion of empire not to the
growth of industrial
Capitalism and British Overseas Expansion, i: The Old Colonial
System, 1688–1850’, Economic History Review, 34
[1986), 501–25; and ‘GentlemanlyCapitalism and British
Overseas Expansion, ii: New Imperialism, 1850–1945’,
Economic History Review, 40 11987), 1–27.
See Martin J. Wiener, English Culture and the
(Cambridge, 1975) and
‘Sceptical Whiggism, commerce, and liberty’; Pincus, ‘Popery, trade and
universal monarchy: the ideological context of the outbreak of the second
Anglo-Dutch war’, EHR, 422 (1992), 1–29; Robertson, ‘Universal monarchy
and the liberties of Europe’, pp. 349–73.
4 P.J. Cain and A.G. Hopkins, ‘Gentlemanlycapitalism and British expansion
overseas I: the old colonial system, 1688–1850’, Economic History Review,
39 (1986), 520; Bayly, Imperial Meridian, p. 30.
5 Eliga Gould, The Persistence of Empire: British Political Culture in the Age
of the American
The emergence from the 1690s to the early 1740s of sustained links between the EIC and expatriate social networks in London constituted a vital prerequisite for wider involvement in the corporation and its operations overseas. That demonstrable influence in the city was required for metropolitan provincial participation in one whole hemisphere of the Empire provides cogent support for the concept of gentlemanlycapitalism and its focus on the central role of London. Yet the extent and nature of the city’s control remains a matter of debate. Although there has
strange mix of old oak Establishment and shiny new steel and glass anarchy. Underneath the calm veneers of its well-mannered, immaculately dressed inmates, no-one seems to trust anything or anyone else. Authors like Philip Augar 12 have documented how the death of ‘gentlemanlycapitalism’ followed ‘Big Bang’ in 1985–86. More recently, Joris Luyendijk, in his Swimming with Sharks , 13 has shown how destructive an extended period of venal self-interest has proved to be for those who work there.
I have witnessed something similar during