Free Trade and the Zollverein : The Parameters of Commercial Policy-Making
‘It is’, said Friedrich List in 1839, ‘as if the English have produced their theories of political economy in the same way as their manufactures; more for export than for domestic consumption.’1 As Britain moved further towards official adoption of free trade, crowned by final abolition of the Corn Laws in 1846 and the Navigation Laws in 1850, there was strong scepticism in the largely protectionist international audience of what has been called ‘unilateral tariff disarmament’.2 How could Britain, they asked, in the competitive, self-interested atmosphere of international relations of the 1840s, possibly contemplate such an act of foolhardy generosity? There must be a catch.
KeywordsFree Trade German State British Government Commercial Policy Consul General
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