Forming a Colonial Economy

Forming a Colonial Economy

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Noel George Butlin
Cambridge University Press, 12/01/1995
EAN 9780521440066, ISBN10: 0521440068

Paperback, 256 pages, 24.8 x 17.6 x 2.4 cm

This broad-ranging book provides a comprehensive account of the development of Australia’s colonial economy before the gold rushes. Noel Butlin’s analysis of the developing economy includes background discussion of eighteenth-century British social, economic, and military history and a detailed demographic analysis of the Australian population over a period of sixty years. He goes on to explore the role of private investment in the economy and the way in which dependence on the British public purse was replaced by dependence on private British capital inflow. A key focus of the book is the extent to which the Australian economy was independent or externally driven, that is, the level of synergism between Australia and Britain. Within this framework, Noel Butlin discusses the central issues of human capital and funding and their impact on the formation of the Australian economy. Forming a Colonial Economydoes for the period to the 1840s what Noel Butlin’s previous landmark economic histories have done for Australia from the 1860s to the 1890s. It is an ambitious and imaginative book that marks the culmination of a life’s work.

"Published posthumously, this well-written "prequel" is a comprehensive and original discussion of the colonial peopling of Australia from 1788 to the 1850s. ... All libraries interested in environmental history, economic theory, and 19th-century British or Australian development should aquire this book. Upper-division undergraduates and above." Choice

"This volume is perhaps most original for its foray into the largely unexplored topics of early public finance in Australia and the effect of British fiscal policies. It adds appreciably to the corpus of Butlin's work." American Historical Review