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The Vital SparkThe British Coastal Trade, 1700-1930$
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John Armstrong

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497308

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497308.001.0001

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The Significance of Coastal Shipping in British Domestic Transport, 1550-1830

The Significance of Coastal Shipping in British Domestic Transport, 1550-1830

(p.15) Chapter 2 The Significance of Coastal Shipping in British Domestic Transport, 1550-18301
The Vital Spark

John Armstrong

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the significance of coastal shipping as a method of domestic transport in Britain in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The aim is to demonstrate the relationship between coastal shipping and road transport in Britain preceding the era of rail transport. It assesses the economic variables of British transport and how they affected coastal shipping, and addresses the imbalance in transport historiography in favour of road transport over coast. It examines tonnage and haul distances through London as provided by a number of secondary sources, including the Musgrave Manuscript. It also discusses cargo, pricing structures, ship longevity, and coastal long-haul advantages across both systems. Disadvantages are then followed by analysis of the various solutions used in future vessels. It concludes by asserting that coastal shipping, rather than road transport, was the pre-eminent form of commodity transport before the coming of rail.

Keywords:   British Road Transport, Transport Economics, Shipping Economics, Transport Historiography, Musgrave Manuscript, Shipping Statistics

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