Did small scale firms inhibit Victorian Growth?

Britain’s manufacturing firms have been accused of remaining family-run and small scale in the period 1850-1914, so ignoring the benefits of the large corporation evident in the USA. Discuss whether this represents a form of entrepreneurial failure by the owners of British firms.

Chandler identifies that corporation’s in America are vertically and horizontally integrated, invested in new technology and produced the latest industrial wares such as electricals, chemicals and automobiles. Britain was characterised by an “atomistic organisation of production”, according to Elbaum and Lazonick, with many small firms that were run by families. This is evidenced by the fact that in 1880s less than 10% of the manufacturing sector was accounted for by the largest 100 firms, the US figure was 22% (Hannah 1983). [...]

Was there an agricultural revolution?

‘Agriculture played a fundamental role in British industrialisation.’

  • Explain the main ways in which agriculture can theoretically influence industrialisation. Word Count = 498

Agriculture can influence industrialisation through the generation or release of capital, the release of labour, acting as a market for industrial goods or through increased output.

Perhaps the most fundamental way that agriculture affects industrialisation is by providing output (foodstuffs and raw materials) which sustain an industrial urban population. If the urban population is growing quickly then the agricultural industry would need to increase output to feed these workers, this could work by the price of foodstuffs rising which would encourage more investment in farms and a strive to increase productivity. [...]