To What Extent Was Pitt Responsible for a National Revival After 1783?
1250 WordsDec 10, 20125 Pages
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…show more content…
This allowed for the first time proper accounting and accurate assessment of government funds, while preventing corrupt MPs from stealing from the government as they had been able to when every department had its own account. Pitt also introduced a culture of meritocracy in the civil service, in which talented and capable administrators were promoted to important positions, for example naval minister Sir Charles Middleton. While it can be argued that in was the intelligence of this new wave of civil servants which led to the national revival in Britain, Pitt certainly had a hand in introducing this new culture.
Finally Pitt’s actions in trade and diplomacy contributed to a British recovery in which it once again became a powerful participant on the world stage. From 1783 to 1790 Britain saw a doubling in imports from 10 to 20 million pounds, contributing to government revenue through import tariffs and duty on goods. There was also a rise in exports from 12 to 20 million pounds, adding to the rise in GDP over the period. This was achieved in part by actions by Pitt: the reinforcement of the Navigation acts, already in place for many years, gave control of trade back to Britain, ensuring that all trade in Goods between America and Britain was done on British ships. This again was not a new policy, but example of Pitt making use of previously neglected legislation. Restrictions on trade including ones in 1787 to protect British farmers