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Men, Ships and Mails 1840–80

  • Francis E. Hyde

Abstract

The successful operation of The British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company during the first forty years of its history was governed by a diverse range of economic, financial and political influences. These influences, in turn, helped in shaping policies relating to the building of new ships, in maintaining mail contracts and services; in entering new trades and in ordering the conduct of business within the framework of a strict code of discipline. The continuous endeavours of the managing partners to meet and overcome successive problems arising from the expansion of steamship services, created lines of policy which, in course of time, came to be regarded as traditional in the conduct of the Company’s affairs. What service was achieved in the first formative years has to be set against a background of both opposition and of the growing technical competence of other steamship companies. Even with government backing (or, perhaps, despite such backing) Cunard could not afford to be complacent. In commercial matters there is much evidence for the belief that the managers were equal in all respects to their rivals; but in technological development they were inhibited by varying degrees of conservatism and by the need to conform to official directive.

Keywords

British Company Twin Screw Shipping Line Mail Service Atlantic Trade 
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Notes

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Copyright information

© Francis E. Hyde 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis E. Hyde
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiverpoolUK

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