False rumor, prejudice, and blind spot 9: Start of a decline

A world exposition in London

< A world exposition in London >

Why did the country that took the world by storm fall into decay?

Even a country that had the initiative spirits at one time will fall into decay by inertia and self-conceit before long.

We can see it in Britain of the late 19th century.


Every day of a glory in around 1850~1870

Britain was ever the largest-ever empire that began the Industrial Revolution before the rest of the world.

GDP per capita, 32% of world industrial production share, and annual trade growth rate 25% were top in the world.

Britain made India that was second largest market and similar population in the world a colony.

In addition, there were Canada, Australia and others.

In 1851 of golden days, the world’s first expo was held in London.

At this time, the exhibit that was in high repute was an “automatic harvest machine” made of American.

It was an ironical result.













Symptom of decline

Although West European countries also had entered the Industrial Revolution belatedly, Germanic Empire began a rapid growth especially.

The United States finished the Civil War, and then entered the western frontier period, and the population and the economy had grown rapidly.





in 1869, opening of the Transcontinental Railroad in the U.S. 

< in 1869, opening of the Transcontinental Railroad in the U.S. >


Furthermore, Britain came to import a lot of cheap food by routes maintenance of the Suez Canal etc. that oneself were being advanced.

Britain had made the free trade a principle and did not take a protective policy to the imports.

Thereby, the British agriculture received the great blow and the landowners who occupied the majority moved many capitals from the farm management into the investment overseas.


Britain got overtaken.

When the 20th century began, British market share of the world industrial production came to reduce until the same as German share.

Moreover, it came to reduce until a half share of the United States.










A cause of the decline

If an island country poor in resources, its economy is less than the U.S. where resources and population are huge in.

However, it is not the true cause.


Although a trade deficit continued by an excess of imports, Britain became a black figure by a profit of foreign investment.

This decreased domestic capital investing and caused productivity stagnation.









12 ロンドンブリッジ

True cause

At that time, people that resisted the latest introduction of industry or the technology were entrepreneurs in Britain.

It caused large technical retreat with organic chemistry, fiber, aluminum, and iron manufacture.


The university in Britain taught classical culture to gentry and did not science, and technical education.

Naturally, technician and worker education were most late among Europe.



The initiative spirits that brought the Industrial Revolution were ancestral thing, and descendants clung to the tradition and the status quo.

Such situation is in progress in modern Japan.














Categories: culture+society, economy, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: False rumor, prejudice, blind spots | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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