'Render them absolutely subservient': the political economy of Malachy Postlethwayt’s metropolism

Lymath, Dean (2013) 'Render them absolutely subservient': the political economy of Malachy Postlethwayt’s metropolism. MA(Res) thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (10MB) | Preview


The eighteenth-century English writer Malachy Postlethwayt (1707-1767) served as an advisor to multiple Prime Ministers and leading politicians. He also assisted the Royal African Company in its twilight years. During his political career he wrote several publications discussing topics that ranged from the slave trade to Britain’s system of commerce. Despite this his publications on the political economy have been hitherto-unstudied. In this research his major publications; the Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce and Britain’s Commercial Interest, will be given their deserved attention, in addition to his other published pamphlets and private correspondence. These works will be analysed, evaluated and categorised under the new conceptualisation 'metropolism'.

'Metropolism' was an approach that went beyond economic concerns and was part of a wider strategic goal of empowering metropolitan traders and the British nation relative to its trade and military rivals. This idea will be articulated and detailed through a close examination of Malachy Postlethwayt's published works and supplementary historiographical details.

It is then placed within the wider 'mercantilist historiography', which is argued to be faulty and lacking precision in its terms. The many problems existing within this 'mercantilist historiography', from its unstable foundation in the Wealth of nations through to a core lack of unity between mercantilist writers, are addressed and framed with this reconstructed context of the wider 'mercantilist' historiography and intellectual thought.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MA(Res))
Supervisors: Haggerty, S.
Subjects: H Social sciences > HF Commerce
D History - General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of History
Item ID: 13856
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2013 07:37
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 16:15
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13856

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View