This thesis examines the relationship between nascent British Nationalism and the Calico Acts. The Calico Acts were passed between 1701-1721 and banned the importation and selling of most cotton items in Britain. My thesis challenges the traditional idea that the Calico Acts were the result of rent-seeking behavior by the Wool and Silk industries and instead focuses on the influences of mercantilism, xenophobia, and conservative social pressures. At the heart of all these controversies lurked the specter of nationalism which influenced and drove the debate against calico. Ultimately the thesis attempts to create a nuanced view of the creation and passage of the Calico Acts that looks at not only the role of competing industries, but also economic and social forces.

Date of Completion

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type




Included in

History Commons