Cunard and the Emigrant Trade 1860–1900

  • Francis E. Hyde


The British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., having survived the first threat of serious competition and having widened the scope of its operations through its associated company by opening up trade with the Mediterranean, now turned to the problem of increasing returns from the North Atlantic trade. It was a fact well understood by most Liverpool shipowners that the evolution of the steamship could not have taken place without the increase in demand for cargo and passenger accommodation. It was a prime reason why, in 1860, the Cunard partners decided to enter the steerage business. By that date it had become obvious that the profits accruing from the Government Contract to carry mail and that from high-class cabin traffic and freight, could not sustain expansion; that in fact, despite the hazards of competition, a more lucrative form of enterprise would henceforth lie in the carriage of emigrant traffic across the Atlantic.


Shipping Company Freight Rate Earning Capacity Sailing Ship Subsequent Chapter 
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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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