If anyone is studying this, the economist S.B. Saul wrote a fantastic book called The Myth of the Great Depression. It's really cheap and full of fantastic stats that can be used in exams. Got me my A* anyway!
· June 1885 Salisbury sets up a Royal Commission to investigate the slump in Britain’s industry and trade.
· Report finds that agricultural prices had been falling since 1873.
· Report also found that although there had been an increase in production of most other commodities; supply outstripped demand.
· Other countries still had protective tariffs, where England did not.
· Unemployment figures; 1886, was 10.2%, by 1899 was 2%. This had a degree of fluctuation, but unemployment fell towards the end of the period. This suggests that there was never a ‘great depression’.
· From 1873-1896, there was at 10% drop in price levels of most commodities, implying falling profits and increased unemployment.
· The price of imports also fell sharply; this benefitted Britain for raw materials/foodstuffs, as they imported around 50% of them.
· Britain retained its focus on its stable industries; coal/iron/steel, whereas foreign competitors branched out into more advanced industries, such as chemicals and lens making in…