By Wadan Narsey
Wadan Narsey explores how nice Britain sustained monetary supremacy within the overseas economic climate within the latter a part of the 19th century, whereas additionally retaining its dedication to conserving the pound sterling totally convertible to a set volume of gold.
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Additional info for British Imperialism and the Making of Colonial Currency Systems
Two minor crises, in 1864, were followed by a major one in 1866. While some pressure on reserves had arisen because of the export of bullion to the East for cotton supplies normally obtained in the United States, the major factor was the popular speculation in limited liability companies and the collapse of one of the largest discount companies, Overend Gurney & Co. (Andreades 1966:353–361). In the following parliamentary inquiry, the Bank of England argued that they could not be held solely responsible for keeping the banking reserve of the country, when other banks refused to keep reserves with the Bank.
Currency boards and colonial development and underdevelopment Generalized Misconception 16. 19 The historical evidence indicates that contrary to Letiche (1974) and Fieldhouse (1981) all the colonial currency changes were regressive by all the standards of an ideal money: as a suitable standard of value, medium of exchange, means of payment, and store of value. While there was no deliberate attempt to cause underdevelopment in the colonies, rather the imperial policy objective was to protect sterling, the capacity to invest internationally, the desire to protect British government interests despite the acknowledged disadvantages for colonies including colonial underdevelopment.
Coinage Act of 1873 eliminated provision for the free coinage of silver bringing in the gold standard, according to Friedman, ‘a mistake that had highly adverse consequences’. ’46 The United States demonetization of silver of 1873 added upward pressure on the gold–silver ratio by absorbing huge amounts of gold, and not silver. From 1879 to 1889, the stock of monetary gold in the United States, both in the Treasury and in private hands, rose from 7% of the world’s stock to 20%, with the holdings of the rest of the world declining.
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