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Age of Invention: Square Dealers

Anton Howes
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This newsletter discusses the British Industrial Revolution and the history of innovation. This specific entry goes over the unique trading practices in England that ultimately led to their success.

The English and Dutch Strategies

  • By 1600, Dutch trading techniques were said to surpass all others.
  • England revolutionized their trade as they stopped relying on foreign imports being brought to them, and instead joined the Dutch as the world's only travelling merchants.
  • Although travelling to foreign lands was risky, the strategy allowed the English to begin buying where product is cheapest, and selling where it is most expensive.
  • The main difference in technique between the English and Dutch was price discrimination; the Dutch infamously determined their prices based on what they believed the current buyer would pay
  • The English looked down upon Dutch price discrimination, and prided themselves in their fair prices, labeling themselves as "square dealers"
  • This honest approach to sales combined with their willingness to travel built the English a reputation as some of the best merchants in the world
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