History 2

An Economic and Social History of Britain Since 1700 by M. W. Flinn (auth.)

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By M. W. Flinn (auth.)

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In the first year of peace after the American War of Independence {1775-88) exports valued at £14 million were rather more than twice as great as they had been at the beginning of the century. After 1784, the expansion of trade was very rapid. From £14 million, exports grew to £19 million in 1790, and by the end of the century exceeded £40 million. The value of imports grew similarly. These enormous changes in the value of exports and imports altered the balance between the different trading areas.

But in 1775 the engine could still only pump water from a mine. True, both Newcomen's and Watt's engines had been used to pump back water that had passed over a water-wheel, so permitting water power to be used the whole year round; but the engine still had obvious limitations. The key to future development Piston ... .. . . . ... . . - - - Cylinder Water jet Furnace Condenser A diagram to show how Watt's steam engine worked Boiler 36 THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION lay in the adaptation of the reciprocating motion of the rocker beam to the rotary motion of a shaft.

From £14 million, exports grew to £19 million in 1790, and by the end of the century exceeded £40 million. The value of imports grew similarly. These enormous changes in the value of exports and imports altered the balance between the different trading areas. The trade with Holland diminished in relative importance as the century wore on, while in the Mediterranean the French were successful in capturing much of the trade from Britain. The largest expansion in exports was to the mainland of North America, where, in spite of the fact that the colonies had just broken away from their allegiance to Britain, trade increased enormously.

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