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the long-term economic impact of the wars,

Long-term favourable impact[edit]

O’Brien examines the long-term economic impact of the wars, 1793-1815, and finds them generally favourable, except for damage to the working class. The economy was not damaged by the diversion of manpower to the army and navy; in terms of destruction and enforced transfer of national wealth, Britain came out ahead. British control of the oceans proved optimal in creating a liberal free-trade global economy, and helped Britain gain the lion’s share of the world’s carrying trade and financial support services. The effects were positive for agriculture and most industries, apart from construction. The rate of capital formation was slowed somewhat and national income perhaps would have grown even faster without war. The most negative impact was a drop in living standards for the urban working classes