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Dundee and the Empire'Juteopolis' 1850-1939$
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Jim Tomlinson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748686148

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686148.001.0001

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War, Recession and the Response on the Left

War, Recession and the Response on the Left

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter 6 War, Recession and the Response on the Left
Source:
Dundee and the Empire
Author(s):

Jim Tomlinson

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686148.003.0007

This chapter examines the economic impact of World War I on the Scottish city of Dundee, dubbed Juteopolis, and India, its main competitor in the area of jute production. The war marked the beginnings of a period of chronic depression in Dundee, largely as the consequence of the growth of competition from Calcutta, even as it encouraged the long-run expansion of the jute industry in continental Europe and strengthened the protectionism of Dundee's jute employers. The chapter also considers the Left's response to notions of imperial protectionism in the postwar period, which saw the jute unions becoming, at least initially, more powerful, and the Labour Party dominating Dundee's parliamentary politics. Finally, it places the dilemmas posed for Dundee by Calcutta's competition in the context of the national debate about how those on the Left should respond to the need to sustain employment in Britain's staple industries, without advocating a simple protectionist strategy against low-wage competition.

Keywords:   low-wage competition, World War I, Dundee, India, jute industry, imperial protectionism, Labour Party, employment, Britain

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