The Sinews of Power: War, Money, and the English State, 1688-1783

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Harvard University Press, 1990 - History - 290 pages
3 Reviews

This powerful interpretation of English history provides a completely new framework for understanding how Britain emerged in the eighteenth century as a major international power.

John Brewer‚e(tm)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 substantial public administration. Warfare and taxes reshaped the English economy, and at the heart of these dramatic changes lay an issue that is still very much with us today: the tension between a nation's aspirations to be a major power and fear of the domestic consequences of such an ambition‚e"namely, the loss of liberty.


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Review: The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688-1783

User Review  - Lisa - Goodreads

Read this for a research paper about monetary and fiscal policy in Enlightenment Europe, was very helpful. Read full review

Review: The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688-1783

User Review  - Kent - Goodreads

While a bit of a slow read about taxes/economic policy/finance at times, Brewer is a wonderful writer and argues a strong case for how the British fiscal-military state arose after 1688 and why it worked so well compared to other European nations. Read full review


The English State in the
Patterns of Military Effort
The Central Offices of Government
The Growth in Debts and Taxes
The Paradoxes of State Power 13 7
The Parameters of War
War and Taxes
Public Knowledge and

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About the author (1990)

John Brewer is Director of the Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Studies and Director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at the University of California at Los Angeles.

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