By Philip McMichael

This ebook lines the formation of Australian colonial society and financial system in the context of the altering fortunes of British hegemony within the nineteenth-century international economic system. Australia's transition from conservative origins as a penal colony aiding a grazier category orientated to export construction, to liberal agrarian capitalism, used to be no longer an easy reflex of imperial atmosphere. regionally, the 'agrarian query' - who should still keep watch over the land and to what finish? - used to be the crucial political fight of this era, as urban-commercial forces contested the graziers' monopoly, of the landed financial system. Embedded within the clash between settler sessions used to be a world measurement, concerning a juxtaposition of laissez-faire and mercantilist levels of British political economic climate. Professor McMichael argues that the transition from a patriarchal wool-growing colony to a liberal-nationalist kind of capitalist improvement is better understood via a scientific research of the influence of the imperial politicoeconomic dating at the social and political forces inside of nineteenth-century Australia.

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172). In this way they consolidated industrial capacity, which Hobsbawm (1975, p. " The Cobden-Chevalier Treaty with France was the thin edge of the British state's commercial wedge. What was distinctive about this treaty was its multilateralism, its simultaneous extension to all states of the concessions extended to France (Iliasu 1971, p. 71). Britain's abolition of reciprocity requirements in its commercial relations with the world presumed commercial hegemony, as Palmerston emphasized in 1859: "When foreign countries .

50-9; Hawgood 1960; Watson 1969). Whereas British political institutions had their own cultural distinction - not the least being an unwritten constitution —flexibleprinciples allowed for Conti18 See, for example, R. Graham's chapter on free trade imperialism in Latin America, in Louis (1976). 16 SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF BRITISH HEGEMONY nental variation in the face of pressures for reform. It has been argued that "the British constitution offered the example of a particular institutional pattern which allowed the combination of liberal and democratic ideas with traditional and hereditary principles" (Watson 1969, p.

Downing Street, 6th January, 1819, in J. T. Bigge, Report of the Commissioner of Inquiry on the State of Agriculture and Trade in the Colony of New South Wales (Adelaide: Libraries Board of South Australia, 1966), p. iii: Not having been established with any view to territorial or commercial advantages, they must chiefly be considered as receptacles for offenders . . So long as they continue destined by the legislature of the country to these purposes, their growth as colonies must be a secondary consideration.

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