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Description - Settlers and the Agrarian Question by Philip D. McMichael

This book traces the formation of Australian colonial society and economy within the context of the changing fortunes of British hegemony in the nineteenth-century world economy. Australia's transition from conservative origins as a penal colony supporting a grazier class oriented to export production, to liberal agrarian capitalism, was not a simple reflex of imperial setting. Domestically, the 'agrarian question' - who should control the land and to what end? - was the central political struggle of this period, as urban-commercial forces contested the graziers' monopoly, of the landed economy. Embedded in the conflict among settler classes was an international dimension, involving a juxtaposition of laissez-faire and mercantilist phases of British political economy. Professor McMichael argues that the transition from a patriarchal wool-growing colony to a liberal-nationalist form of capitalist development is best understood through a systematic analysis of the effect of the imperial politicoeconomic relationship on the social and political forces within nineteenth-century Australia.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521523165
ISBN-10: 0521523168
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Pages: 324
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 15-Oct-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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