Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Malta and the nineteenth century grain trade : British free trade in a microcosm of Empire?
Authors: Sharp, Paul
Keywords: Wheat trade -- Malta -- History -- 19th century
Wheat trade -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Grain trade -- Law and legislation -- Malta -- History
Sette Giugno, 1919
Taxation -- Malta -- History
Malta -- Politics and government -- History -- 19th century
Malta -- Politics and government -- History -- 20th century
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of History
Citation: Sharp, P. (2009). Malta and the nineteenth century grain trade : British free trade in a microcosm of Empire?. Journal of Maltese History, 1(2), 20-34
Abstract: It is often assumed that Britain’s colonies followed the British doctrine of free trade in the second half of the nineteenth century. Malta, which became a British colony in 1814, did indeed become an early free trader. However, she failed to liberalize the grain trade, even when the mother country famously repealed the Corn Laws. This paper documents that although institutions changed over the years, the ad valorem equivalents of the duties on wheat did not. The reason for this seems to be that administrators were convinced that is was not possible to fund government spending in any other way. The duties on grain in Malta were therefore not protectionist, but rather for revenue purposes, in contrast to the UK Corn Laws. Taxing an inelastic demand for foreign wheat by Maltese, who were unable to grow enough food to support themselves, was certainly an effective way of raising revenue, but probably not the fairest one, as contemporaries were well aware.
ISSN: 2077-4338
Appears in Collections:JMH, Volume 1, No. 2 (2009)
JMH, Volume 1, No. 2 (2009)

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.