Walpole's Influence Saves The British Economy

Good Essays
Part IV: Walpole’s Influence Saves the British Economy Walpole knew that the South Sea Company would eventually fall apart. What he did not know was when it would happen. It is interesting to note that just as his decision regarding the Bubble Act pushed stock values of the South Sea Company higher than ever, he moved most of his money out of the South Sea Company and into housing. According to Plumb, Walpole may have felt that he could be ennobled. However, he knew he could only be named to nobility if he owned enough luxury property. Thus, he quickly began to purchase as much property as he could, investing in several properties in Norfolk over the course of the summer. While one might argue that Walpole purchased property in Norfolk to…show more content…
Given his political ties to the directors of the Bank of England, the public looked to him to help persuade the bank to help in a time of need. As historian John Francis mentioned, the Bank of England was originally built to help Parliament in times of financial need. However, many did not appreciate the Bank of England when it indeed helped the country. Hesitant to get involved, the directors of the Bank of England needed to be persuaded to help in what they believed to be a lost cause. Moreover, the South Sea Company did the Bank of England zero favors when it beat the bank out for the rights to finance the public debt in the early part of…show more content…
His power soon diminished as the South Sea Company ultimately collapsed in the fall of 1720. In the aftermath of the collapse, the public searched for who had led the corruption of the South Sea Company. Eventually, all eyes went on Aislabie and he resigned as chancellor of the exchequer on January 23, 1721. By February 26, the House of Commons received a report from a government-appointed committee that accused Aislabie of corruption during 1720. The committee accused Aislabie of “speculating heavily in South Sea Stock before the passing of the South Sea Act, and of receiving £20,000 South Sea stock from the Company without paying for it.” While he denied receiving the free stock, he refused to deny the first charge and attempted to cover up his guilt by colluding with his broker, Hawes. He demanded that his broker refuse to release the ledger which recorded Aislabie’s dealings with the South Sea Company stock. The House of Commons ordered that Aislabie bring the book to the trial, but once at the trial, Aislabie announced that the book had been burned. Since Aislabie knew that the book would implicate him, he burned the book to prevent the House of Commons from obtaining it. However, by burning the book, Paliament rightfully believed Aislabie attempted to cover up his guilt of corruption in the South Sea
Get Access