By M. W. Flinn (auth.)
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Extra resources for An Economic and Social History of Britain Since 1700
Rease of exports consisted almost entirely of manufactured goods textiles, metalware and pottery. Of the textiles, woollen cloth showed a steady increase, and exports were valued at over £8 million in 1800. Starting from very small beginnings, cotton cloth exports grew rapidly, but did not overtake woollens untill802. To supply the growing industries, and to feed the rapidly expanding population, imports of raw materials and foodstuffs were needed in ever-increasing quantities. At the beginning of the century such relatively small quantities of raw cotton as were ~:equired came mainly from the Levant and the West Indian Islands.
John McAdam, also a Scot, was born in 1756, but spent part of his early life in America, where he acquired a fortune during the War of Independence. Returning to England, he experimented in the construction of roads, using broken stones for surfacing. On being TRANSPORT AND TRADE appointed surveyor-general of roads in Bristol in 1815, he put his theories into practice. The merits of the new 'macadamised' surface were immediately recognised, and the nation's debt to him was recognised by Parliament in a grant of £10,000.
In the first half of the eighteenth century the industry was fairly well dispersed over the country. ancashire, and in the north-east near Newcastle. In the early eighteenth century the home industry barely supplied half the country's requirements. To make good the deficiency, bar iron was imported at first from Sweden and later in the century also from Russia. In the early eighteenth century British manufacturers produced about 20,000 tons of bar iron, and a further 10,000 tons were imported mainly from Sweden.