English Overseas Trade Statistics, 1697-1808

English Overseas Trade Statistics, 1697-1808

English Overseas Trade Statistics, 1697-1808

English Overseas Trade Statistics, 1697-1808

Excerpt

The task of the student who seeks to make his way through the forest of eighteenth-century figures of trade has been greatly eased since the publication, in 1938, of the Guide to English Commercial Statistics, 1696-1782, compiled with learning and skill by Professor G. N. (now Sir George) Clark. Elizabeth Schumpeter had begun her investigation twelve years before this appeared, and had submitted a thesis on Trade Statistics and Cycles in England, 1697-1825, to Radcliffe College in March 1934. This was a remarkable piece of work, based on research at the Public Record Office in London and written under the guidance of two eminent scholars, Professors A. P. Usher and J. R. Schumpeter. The author herself, however, was dissatisfied with it. Much of the evidence it offered consisted of samples taken at five-year intervals, and though this was useful for the study of long-term or medium-term changes, it could throw little light on year-to-year fluctuations. Hence, after having satisfied the requirements for the doctorate, she returned to London and compiled the continuous series of figures for about a hundred commodities of export and fifty of import, which make up the bulk of the present volume. The magnitude of the task she undertook is attested by some 15,000 separate sheets of transcripts from the Ledgers, and a mass of other papers covered with calculations and notes.

In 1952, when my wife and I spent a . . .

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