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The Growth and Dissolution of a Large-Scale Business EnterpriseThe Furness Interest, 1892-1919$
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Gordon Boyce

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497391

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497391.001.0001

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Trouble on the Transatlantic Route: The Formation of the IMM and Furness' Response

Trouble on the Transatlantic Route: The Formation of the IMM and Furness' Response

Chapter:
(p.85) Chapter 4 Trouble on the Transatlantic Route: The Formation of the IMM and Furness' Response
Source:
The Growth and Dissolution of a Large-Scale Business Enterprise
Author(s):

Gordon Boyce

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780986497391.003.0005

This chapter explores the response the Furness Group’s response to J. P Morgan’s acquisition and combination of five major transatlantic passenger lines, including the enormous White Star Line, into a single American based holding company - International Mercantile Marine (IMM). It uses Furness Group records to analyse Furness’ response, which was the intent to create a rival enterprise, and contrasts this with the response of a smaller, Liverpool-based shipowner. It then aims to fill the gaps of previous IMM studies by exploring route-allocation agreements across shipping firms; rail-borne cargo contracts; the position of smaller transatlantic operators; the impact of the merger on American ports; and the emergence of the transatlantic Canadian Pacific Railroad as another powerful competitor. It concludes by asserting that Furness’ plan to create a rival enterprise failed due to a combination of financial overambition, unpopular imperialistic intentions with regard to trade routes, the aggressiveness of the proposal and its failure to gain government support, and ill-will between Furness and his shipowning contemporaries.

Keywords:   Transatlantic Shipping, International Mercantile Marine, J. P. Morgan, Canadian Pacific Railroad, Passenger Shipping, White Star Line, Cunard Line, British Imperialism

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