By Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich
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Extra info for An Economic and Social History of Europe, 1890–1939
In addition, the expansion of wheat exports in the middle decades of the nineteenth century had led to the creation of an interest group which also demanded protection. Consumer goods were manufactured to replace imports, but in general could not be exported. The capital goods industry remained limited to satisfying the demands of the export sectors. The traditional timber industry, which faced increased international competition, reduced employment 20 per cent but increased horsepower per worker 75 per cent from 1900 to 1912.
As elsewhere, the results were modest; the 345 large industrial plants in the country in 1910 employed fewer than 16,000 workers, and in 1902 the heavy burden of government debt had resulted in the imposition of a foreign commission to oversee the revenue from a special tobacco tax pledged to the nation's creditors. Four-fifths of the population remained agricultural. Alone among eastern European countries, Bulgaria had become a land of independent small farmers. Compensation paid to the old Turkish landlords had left a heavy burden of debt, however, and population increase and the equal distribution of inheritances had resulted in extreme fragmentation.
Nationalism extolled 'racial' virtues, demanded the enlargement of national territories and insisted on the conquest of territory abroad. Colonial areas were ideal spots in which to flex the national muscle and preach the nationalist gospel. Nationalism and politics inevitably implied military might and strategy, which also played a role in imperialism. Britain's prize possession was the Indian Empire, and some British expansion in the late 1800s can be explained as an attempt to protect the flanks of the Indian subcontinent.
An Economic and Social History of Europe, 1890–1939 by Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich