An historical assessment of economic development, manufacturing and the political economy in Queensland, 1900 to 1930

Cameron, David Bruce (1999). An historical assessment of economic development, manufacturing and the political economy in Queensland, 1900 to 1930 PhD Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, University of Queensland.

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Author Cameron, David Bruce
Thesis Title An historical assessment of economic development, manufacturing and the political economy in Queensland, 1900 to 1930
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 1999
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Kay Saunders
Total pages 507
Language eng
Subjects 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Formatted abstract The contribution of manufacturing to the economic development of Queensland has been much more significant than has generally been acknowledged in the state's historiography. Manufacturing has been fundamentally important to the growth of the Queensland economy by allowing the conversion of many primary industry commodities into products valued in overseas and interstate markets and providing an industrial capacity to support infrastructure development and many of the everyday goods consumed by the people of Queensland. Manufacturing has also provided avenues of employment and commercial activity in the urban centres across Queensland and, in particular, in the south-eastern region. Queensland's secondary industries managed to expand and diversify despite many economic difficulties and the apathy of successive Queensland governments from the nineteenth century and well into the first half of the twentieth century.

This thesis examines the central features of economic development in Queensland and the relationship between industrial development, particularly the manufacturing industries, and the political economy from the earliest years of European settlement to the early decades of the twentieth century. This study provides a general assessment of economic development in the nineteenth century and a comprehensive empirically based economic history of all industry sectors in Queensland, with an emphasis on the manufacturing sector, for the period 1900 to 1930. Using the fullest body of statistical and qualitative sources possible, this thesis analyses the various economic, social, political, ideological, geographical, and sociological factors that have influenced the form and character of economic and industrial development and manufacturing in Queensland.

The manufacturing sector has been much maligned and marginalised in Queensland; the populist anti-urban, anti-industrial and anti-centralist attitudes of successive Queensland governments have been powerful deterrents to urban and industrial progress. In Queensland the agrarian dream held steadfast and governments continually implemented rural development schemes intended to populate the interior through the promotion of closer settlement. With the political process infused by a significant rural bias very little assistance was directed towards the state's manufacturing sector which managed, nevertheless, to expand to be, in terms of its value of production, Queensland's most valuable industry sector by the mid-1920s.

This thesis by addressing the paucity of economic history specific to Queensland; its comprehensive quantitative empirical foundation; its focus on the development of Queensland's secondary industries; and for its use of an extensive body of archival sources to present a comprehensive analysis of the economic development of Queensland, makes a significant contribution towards broadening an understanding of Queensland's economic and political history. From another perspective, the significance of this research lies with the implications associated with an examination of the lack of social identification in Queensland with industrialism and ideals that were generally unsympathetic towards an industrial society. A consideration of this anti-industrial hegemony is crucial to any analysis of the social, political, economic, and cultural development of Queensland.
Keyword Queensland -- Economic conditions -- 1901-1945
Queensland -- Politics and government -- 1901-1945
Queensland -- History -- 1901-1945
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Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
 
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