Was Ireland industrialized or de-industrialized in the first half of the nineteenth century? This is an acute question concerning Irish economic history. Under the Union in 1801 and the dissolution of any protective tarrifs in 1824 the major industrial cities of Ireland-Dublin, Cork and Belfast-were confronted with direct competition from the British Isles. Dublin, even de-industrialized, remained as the centre of administration and as a consumers' city, while Cork experienced a serious industrial decline. Belfast also seemed to decline with other cities. However, Belfast which developed the cotton industry had the alternative to survive in a different way. According to Geary's recent work, the Belfast entrepreneurs were competitive with Manchester under the free market in the limited sector. Moreover, as James Kay of Preston invented the wet-spinning process which produced the fine count linen yarn in 1825, fortunately the Belfast cotton spinners had an opportunity to challenge the new business which had more potential in Ireland. It is true that thanks to the linen industry Belfast survived and industrialized unlike Cork and Dublin. However the story was not so simple. In this essay, we examined who and when and in reality under what background did they launch into the linen business. The result of the examination is as follows; firstly, most of the Belfast entrepreneurs who started the linen business were the cotton spinners. Secondly, many of them changed their business in the mid-1830s, not immediately after 1825. Finally, they were prudent enough to wait and see the degree of the innovation and the situation of the linen market, and were also decisive enough to change to the new business. As a result, their business activity gave birth to the rise of the Irish linen industry in the world market and the industrialization in the north of Ireland.
This paper deals with the new capital issue boom in the London capital market during the period of 1918-1920 and how large companies in those days committed themselves in the boom. Previously this boom has been characterized as essentially domestic and prominent with large issue by leading companies. However, it should also be pointed out that there were many speculative issues which were not connected with industrial development in the process of the boom. In order to clarify whether the boom played an important role in domestic capital formation or merely a speculative one, we have analyzed the amount of new capital raised by the issue, and the proportion of capital used for spending on equipment outlays in each issue, utilizing the prospectuses of companies and other documents. As a result of this investigation, we concluded that the boom had a great significance for the development of British industries, especially large companies belonging to the so-called heavy industrial sector. Though many large companies made considerable use of bonus issues during the period, they also expanded their assets substantially by new capital issues in the capital market. However, there were some instances of companies which had to face difficulties connected with the heavy burden of over-capitalization in the 1920's. These companies had to discover means for effective management of huge assets. For these reasons, the postwar capital issue boom had an important role in the rise of the corporate economy in Britain after the First World War.