Anglo-German commercial and financial rivalry in Brazil 1900-1929

Moller, C. (1988) Anglo-German commercial and financial rivalry in Brazil 1900-1929. Doctoral thesis, City of London Polytechnic.


This thesis investigates the growth and character of British and German economic interests in Brazil with particular regard to the extent of their historical competition as well as respective economic performances. Being reminiscent of the continuous enquiries into the state of Britain's home industries, the thesis re-opens the complementary debate about British comparative efficiency in world trade and her ability to withstand Germany's expansion into new overseas markets. An examination of institutional structures and competitive behaviour in trade, banking and finance highlights intersectoral linkages, and broadens the conventional interpretations of historical shifts in relative market shares.

In reassessing the opposing views of the commercial rivalry debate through the case study of an independent market such as Brazil, the central question of relative competitiveness is further related to the concept of economic imperialism. The connection between the two issues is obvious. The growth of business and changes in market shares could have been the result of comparative advantages. Failing that, theories of imperialism and economic dependency implicitly suggest political pressures and restrictive market practices as alternatives.

In order to study this hypothesis, the project investigates the role of commercial diplomacy and business imperialism amongst Anglo-German interests in Brazil, while determining their alleged value as competitive substitutes in the European strive for market expansion.

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