Party politics, political economy and British protectionism, 1919-1932

W. R. Garside

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent consideration of the proximate causes of Britain\s fiscal turnaround in 1932 has given rise to two polarized views. The adoption of the tariff is seen on the one hand as the almost inevitable outcome of mounting protectionist pressures in the post-1918 period, and on the other as a direct reaction to the economic and financial crises generated by the world depression. This article undertakes a further review of the commercial policy debate. It traces the rise of protectionist sentiment in the aftermath of the First World War, identifies the immediate problems generated by the depression of the early thirties, and assesses the extent to which either or both developments offer an adequate explantion of why free trade was abandoned in 1932 and not before. The imposition of protection is seen as the result of a conjuction between a long-term shift in attitude within the Conservative Party, buttressed by growing support for tariffs in labour, business and financial circles by 1930, and the fiscal crisis of 1931-2, allowing a dominant political party to capitalize upon a symbiotic fusion of political impetus and economic rationale.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHistory
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
    • General Environmental Science


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