To What Extent Was Pitt Responsible for a National Revival After 1783?

Topics: Tax, International trade, England Pages: 4 (1256 words) Published: December 16, 2012
To what extent was Pitt responsible for a national revival after 1783? When Pitt became prime minister in 1783 Britain was state of depression. Pitt inherited a demoralised and isolated country, caused by its loss of the American colonies and the unity of regional powers France and Spain against her. Despite this, over the next decade, Britain saw a rise in its economy and a recovery in its international prestige, termed as a ‘national revival’. The actions of Pitt, who was seen as a Patriotic and independent character above politics, can be analysed over the factors of administrative, financial and trade reforms which he brought in. But the argument must be had on extent to which he was responsible for revival compared to the other factors of industrial revolution, the actions of other ministers, the inheritance of old policies and the state of other world factors.

In terms of financial recovery the government saw an increase in revenue of £4 million between 1783 and 1791, coming off the back of a £10.8 million deficit in 1783. Pitt’s efficient tackling of smuggling of goods into Britain can be seen to have contributed to this. His Commutation Acts of 1784 reduced duty on tea from an astronomical 119% to 25% as well as reductions on wines, spirits and tobacco. The effect of this was a significant reduction in smuggling, as the prices of goods where now cheap enough to buy legally, this led to an increase in duties paid on imported goods which contributed to government revenue. Another financial attribute was the sink fund, this was a fund which stored any budget surplus in an account, which could then gain interest and pay off a large lump sum of the debt. While this was successful I paying off debt in the 1780s as well as being a good symbol of government competency, this idea had been introduced already in 1716. Pitt did not introduce this, but did make it work by preventing ministerial raids on it, which had previously undermined it, so it can argued on...
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