Chapter

Diffusion

Robert J. Bennett

in Local Business Voice

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584734
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731105 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584734.003.0005
Diffusion

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Chambers were initially small in number and focused in the main ports. This was explained by their political weight, experience of lobbying for private Bills for infrastructure development (especially wet docks and canals), and their focus on networks of economic and social exchange. This chapter shows that their diffusion was generally down the population rank-size distribution of cities, eventually penetrating the whole market for local voice. However, the chapter shows that there was important regional differentiation, and there were some notable barriers to diffusion as a result of resistance. In London this included resistance from central government. In centres, such as Bristol, Dublin, Cork, and Londonderry, it was resistance from the pre-Reform local corporation; other centres had mixed support from pre-existing bodies such as the Merchant Adventurers, Staplers, and commercial committees.

Keywords: Rank size rule; port infrastructure; corporations; Reform Act; agglomeration economies; industrial districts; local networks; social milieu; Merchant Adventurers

Chapter.  20745 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business History

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