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The UK Economy. Relative Decline. The UK economy is currently moderately successful, but is more interesting when compared with the dominance it had over the world in the 1800s .

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relative decline
Relative Decline
  • The UK economy is currently moderately successful, but is more interesting when compared with the dominance it had over the world in the 1800s.
  • The British Empire had enormous influence over many parts of the world, and Britain had colonies and economic and political power in various places, providing it with trade and resources that other countries could not compete with.
Over the course of the last century, the British Empire, once so powerful, has dwindled to a fraction of its original size.
  • Most of the colonies and overseas territories have gradually turned to local rule, and although they remain linked in many cases as Commonwealth nations, the direct power that the UK had over them is largely gone.
  • Aside from the resources it controlled overseas, the industrial production of Britain was also far more dominant in times past
Britain was the birthplace of the industrial revolution, a change in the way industry operated which was a precursor for most of production systems in the world today.
  • So Britain was dominant economically, technologically, politically, and militarily.
  • As the British Empire collapsed, and other countries adopted the improved methods of production brought about by the division of labour, the dominance of the UK slipped away.
  • The pressures bought about by fighting the first and second world wars further affected Britain’s economy
Finally, the countries defeated and forced to reconstruct after the wars became more successful due to their more modern, reconstructed industry, and rose to challenge the supremacy of the UK economy.
  • While by no means insignificant, compared to past glory the current UK economy is not as dominant as in the past.
uk economy recent history
UK Economy – Recent History
  • The economic hardships of the 1970s led to a change in power of the government, when the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher was voted in.
  • This was a chance for an overhaul of the British economic system, and the Conservative government made major changes.
  • Regulations governing finance and foreign exchange were loosened
State owned industries were privatised.
  • The changes had the positive effect of increasing profits and improving efficiency, but at the expense of the employment rate.
  • The state of the UK economy fell for a time, then increased until a recession in the early 1990s, followed by another rise until 2008, when the UK economy was hit by the global financial crisis.
  • Success stories for the British economy include mining, energy and pharmaceuticals
The difficult conditions in the North sea, where much of Britain’s natural resources come from, forced UK companies to develop internationally competitive technology.