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The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, Front Cover. John Brewer. Unwin Hyman, – History – pages. The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State Front Cover . John Brewer. Routledge, Sep 11, – History – pages. The Sinews of Power: War, Money, and the English. State, New York: (Cambridge, ) and immediately after it John Brewer’s book.

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In the latter half of his ojhn he tries to push the issue further by explaining why English policy changed so joyn in the late s, concluding that public deficit finance had by become a long-term part of the workings of the English state. Jen rated it really liked it Mar 10, Answers and approaches to them, by contrast, have shifted markedly over time.

The effective way Britain collected taxes between and was the result of a major transformation in its fiscal system that took place between the Restoration and the mid- eighteenth century, when an unproductive system was brought under the direction of a newly- founded Treasury Board.

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Sep 10, Kent rated it really liked it Shelves: Except that by the s that sun was in eclipse forever; so, emphatically, was British industry, and so too, perhaps, was enchanted confidence in Parliament. But, if the British Empire depended upon its financial system, its tax system, etc. This is an unusual history book which narrates the strengthening of the English state through internal changes in state organs rather than through the external actions of the state.

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In the end, Britain became great because of the statistics and reports generated by beaucrats which allowed policymakers to make informed decisions on hard data. Whereas Brewer dwells on what it meant on ;ower small scale, down to the common shopkeeper, it is not a running theme in his book and Carroll uses it far more broadly in his work.

The Sinews of Power: Plumbs “England in the Eighteenth Century” which though dated in many of the particulars still rewards the reader with a fluent general account of the ojhn. They are helpful in that joun point out the means by which nations create massive empires — economic and social resources such as capital and manpower — but for the author both of these factors as well as military events contributed to the enhanced status of Britain.

The Sinews of Power — John Brewer | Harvard University Press

And how was it able to remain fundamentally cohesive while it did so? The transcribers, copyists, and other clerks who recorded business accounts and other financial dealings are not neglected just because the documents they left behind are not easy to interpret for modern historians.

Jan 09, Jonathan rated it really liked it Nrewer This helps the author show a growing discrepancy in taxes, and his exact monetary amounts help illustrate just how rapidly the transformation took place. The emergence of a peculiarly British version of the fiscal-military state was for Brewer an unintended consequence of the political crisis which racked the state after the Glorious Revolution.

How did this small island, so sparsely-populated in comparison with its major rivals, manage to become the prime European and imperial power?

It was between these years that England itself obtained all of the main characteristics of a fiscal-military state: Older departments did not undergo comprehensive reforms; instead, administrative innovation in Britain either worked around existing office-holders and their interests or reached an accommodation with them by combining the old and the new to their mutual satisfaction Brewer, Rather than consider the macro-economic question of simews extent to which the state helped or hindered the long-term breweg development of Britain, the short-term impact of siness on different parts of society and poower immediate economic and social effect of changes in the configuration of state power are examined, instead.


In the end he is convincing in demonstrating how the fiscal-military state emerged in England, even as he draws conclusions some readers might find unorthodox. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Skip to main content. Not a book for everyone, but if you are interested in British and American colonial history, then it is worth your time.

Brewer asserts the importance of both the early centralization of the English state and its absence from the larger Continental campaigns from about to as vital features that allowed for a future English superpower. But there has as yet been no revival of a British history emphasising native constitutional achievements.

Cambridge University Press, John Brewer’s brilliant analysis makes clear that the drastic increase in Britain’s military involvement and success in Europe and the expansion of her commercial and imperial interests would not have happened without a concurrent radical increase in taxation, along with a surge in deficit financing and the growth of a kf public administration.

Lists with This Book. We are talking about a revolt against taxes, imperial administration, and trade controls, after all. Instead, historians from all parts of the political spectrum have responded to the encroaching embrace of the EEC by arguing that Britain in the past was not invariably all that different from the rest of Europe.

Economic and military history are interwoven, but political history is not left by the wayside.