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Ideologies can play a significant role when it comes to politics Once politicians strongly believe in something it is hard for them to realize that their conducts might be destructive Political ideologies committed Great Britain to free trade in the late nineteenth century During seventeenth and eighteenth century Great Britain pursued protectionism However in the first half of nineteenth century as a result of its establishment as industrial hegemon in Europe Britain began to adopt free trade policies Protectonism Britannica Liberal economists emphasize the importance of the free market and call for only a limited government role in economic activitiesCohn 81 They argue that freely operating markets based on a division of labor serve to maximize efficiency and prosperity and that such productive gains are likely to be positive-sum in nature Cohn 84 That means that all countries participating in free trade benefit from it The gains of the states engaging in free trade are greater than its loses Adoption of free trade policies was inspired by Liberal writings of Adam Smith classic liberal who believed in free trade Adam Smith was attacking protectionist policies and pushing forward liberalization of trade Eventually the repeal of Corn Laws in 1846 symbolized final installment of the free trade philosophy in Britain Rubinstein 19 According to Charles P Kindleberger Britains trade policies in the nineteenth century were characterized by a strong widely-shared conviction that the teachings of contemporary orthodox economists including Free Traders were scientifically exact universally applicable and demanded assent Frieden and Lake 81 Therefore the major reason for Britains commitment to free trade was a great influence of ideologies of liberal economic theories Despite the fact that in the period between 1870 and 1900 most countries adopted protectionist commercial policy Great Britain maintained free trade to its disadvantage In order to understand why Britain followed such path it is important to analyze history political and economic environment of Britain in the nineteenth century During
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