Economic distress caused by pandemic is the first in a very long time to have been brought about by the natural world
The chancellor has said the government will borrow a peacetime record of almost £400bn this year in the face of the worst recession the UK has experienced in more than 300 years. But how many of us know what happened at the time of that distant milestone?
Three centuries ago, Britain looked very different. The country was still largely agricultural and as such was completely at the mercy of nature – though 2020 has shown that perhaps, in a way, it still is. Nonetheless, in the early 18th century it was the success or failure of the harvest, which depended on the weather, that had a profound impact on the rate of economic growth.