Dissecting the sinews of power: International trade and the rise of Britain’s fiscal-military state, 1689-1823
We evaluate the role of taxes on overseas trade in the development of imperial Britain’s fiscal-military state. Influential work, e.g., Brewer’s Sinews of Power, attributed increased fiscal capacity to the taxation of domestic, rather than traded, goods: excise revenues, coarsely associated with domestic goods, grew faster than customs revenues. We construct new historical revenue series disaggregating excise revenues from traded and domestic goods. We find substantial growth in revenue from traded goods, accounting for over half of indirect taxation around 1800. This challenges the conventional wisdom attributing the development of the British state to domestic factors: international factors mattered, too.
Date: 17 October 2023, 17:00 (Tuesday, 2nd week, Michaelmas 2023)
Venue: All Souls College, High Street OX1 4AL
Venue Details: Old Library or https://zoom.us/j/99415477879?pwd=b29jVUZnYm5WMTkyakJ0TFNPNmlaUT09
Speaker: Noam Yuchtman (University of Oxford)
Organising department: Department of Economics
Part of: Economic and Social History Seminar
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Shreyasi Banerjee