Acute financial and commercial crisis in Britain (105 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors


The recession of this period may have been initially triggered by the decision of the Bank of England to compensate for decreasing reserves by gradually increasing interest rates from 3% to 5%. This was passed on to US banks, which diminished lending rates and collapsed the demand for cotton. It soon became a global crisis, leading to a worldwide recession. In Britain, it led to mass unemployment, especially in the manufacturing cities of the north. This created the conditions for the establishment of the Chartist movement, which sought to ameliorate the terrible conditions of the working population by calling for greater political rights for working class men.

Editors. "Acute financial and commercial crisis in Britain". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 30 April 2017.]

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