The Politics of Commerce: The Congress of Chambers of Commerce of the Empire, 1886-1914

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In the last decade, historians studying Britain’s relations with the self-governing settlement empire (the dominions) have emphasized the role of shared culture and dense networks in shaping what Bridge and Fedorowich have called the “British world.” Recent scholarship has begun to discern a political life within this British world, at times resurrecting the term Greater Britain. This article builds on these developments through research on a neglected pan-imperial institution: the Congress of Chambers of Commerce of the Empire. The article shows that the Congress, which was dominated by chambers from Britain and the dominions, acted primarily as a business lobby seeking to shape aspects of pan-imperial economic governance. This conclusion highlights the need to place greater emphasis on patterns of politics and governance within the British World (or Greater Britain).
Original languageEnglish
Article number2158244013510304
Number of pages12
JournalSage Open
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • chambers
  • commerce
  • empire
  • dominions
  • Greater Britain


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