For most of the twentieth century tin was fundamental for both warfare and welfare. The widespread use of the tin can created a revolution in food preservation and helped feed both the armies of the great powers and the masses of the new urban society. Tin deposits were however found in only a few regions of the world, predominantly in the southern hemisphere, while the main centres of consumption were in the industrialized north. The tin trade was therefore always a highly politically charged economy, in which states and private enterprise competed and cooperated to assert control over deposits, smelters and markets. This book demonstrates the ways in which the history of a humble metal can shape the evolution of a global economic trade: an industry that has experienced extensive state intervention during times of war, encompasses intense competition and cartelization, and has seen regions both thrive and fail in the wake of decolonization. The history of the international tin industry reveals the complex interactions and interdependencies between the local actors and international networks, decolonization and globalization, as well as government foreign policies and entrepreneurial tactics. By highlighting the global struggles for control, and the constantly shifting economic, geographical and political constellations within one specific industry, this volume integrates political and business history and examines the very role of the firm in the context of international relations.
|Taylor & Francis
|Published - 1 Aug 2014
|Routledge International Studies in Business History