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Journal ArticleDOI

The Rise of the Fiscal State in Europe, c. 1200-1815 (review)

01 Aug 2001-Journal of Interdisciplinary History (The MIT Press)-Vol. 32, Iss: 2, pp 282-283
About: This article is published in Journal of Interdisciplinary History.The article was published on 2001-08-01. It has received 41 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Fiscal union.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors investigated empirically both the importance of money for military success and patterns of state building in early modern Europe using data from 374 battles and found that when fiscal resources are not crucial for winning wars, the threat of external conflict stifles state building.
Abstract: Powerful, centralized states controlling a large share of national income only begin to appear in Europe after 1500. We build a model that explains their emergence in response to the increasing importance of money for military success. When fiscal resources are not crucial for winning wars, the threat of external conflict stifles state building. As finance becomes critical, internally cohesive states invest in state capacity while divided states rationally drop out of the competition, causing divergence. We emphasize the role of the “Military Revolution”, a sequence of technological innovations that transformed armed conflict. Using data from 374 battles, we investigate empirically both the importance of money for military success and patterns of state building in early modern Europe. The evidence is consistent with the predictions of our model.

233 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper found that small political units continued to thrive well into the age of the territorial state, and that the emergence of towns and cities caused the formation of small and independent states in Europe.
Abstract: This paper challenges the long-standing belief that changes in patterns of war and war making caused the emergence of large territorial states. Using new data describing the universe of European states between 1100 and 1790, I find that small political units continued to thrive well into the “age of the territorial state.” Some scholars have argued that changes in the production of violence led to the dominance of geographically large political units during this era. In contrast, I find evidence that variation in patterns of economic development and urban growth caused fragmented political authority in some places and the construction of geographically large territorial states in others. Exploiting random climatic deviations in the propensity of certain geographical areas to support large populations, I show via an instrumental-variables approach that the emergence of towns and cities caused the formation of small and independent states.

123 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Guido Alfani1
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide a picture of economic inequality in northwestern Italy (Piedmont), 1300-1800, showing that during the Early Modern period, inequality grew everywhere, independently from whether the economy was growing or stagnating.
Abstract: This article provides a picture of economic inequality in northwestern Italy (Piedmont), 1300–1800. Regional studies of this kind are rare, and none has as long a timescale. The new data proposed illuminate little-known aspects of wealth distribution and general economic inequality in preindustrial times, supporting the idea that during the Early Modern period, inequality grew everywhere, independently from whether the economy was growing or stagnating. This challenges earlier views that explained inequality growth as the consequence of economic development. The importance of demographic processes is underlined, and the impact of the Black Death and other mortality crises is analyzed.

123 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the eighteenth century, Britain had a unique wage and price structure, and that structure is a key to explaining the inventions of the industrial revolution as mentioned in this paper, which led British firms to invent technologies that substituted capital and energy for labour.
Abstract: Britain had a unique wage and price structure in the eighteenth century, and that structure is a key to explaining the inventions of the industrial revolution. British wages were very high by international standards, and energy was very cheap. This configuration led British firms to invent technologies that substituted capital and energy for labour. High wages also increased the supply of technology by enabling British people to acquire education and training. Britain's wage and price structure was the result of the country's success in international trade, and that owed much to mercantilism and imperialism. When technology was first invented, it was only profitable to use it in Britain, but eventually it was improved enough that it became cost-effective abroad. When the ‘tipping point’ occurred, foreign countries adopted the technology in its most advanced form.

101 citations

BookDOI
01 Jan 2018
TL;DR: The Leap of Faith project as discussed by the authors examines the evolution of the relationship between taxpayers and their states in Sweden, Italy, United Kingdom, the United States, and Romania, and asks why tax compliance is so much higher in some countries than others.
Abstract: This book examines the evolution of the relationship between taxpayers and their states in Sweden, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Romania, and asks why tax compliance is so much higher in some countries than others. The book shows that successful states have built strong administrative capacities, tax citizens fairly and equitably, and deliver public services that are tangible to taxpayers. The main substantive chapters explore the history of a particular country demonstrating how and why these capacities were developed (or not). The book is part of a larger project entitled “Willing to Pay?” which brings together historical institutional analysis with experimental methods. A series of articles as well as a subsequent book elaborate the specific findings from the experiments undertaken in each country. These experiments, however, cannot tell us why compliance behavior differs so much across societies. The Leap of Faith offers just such an explanation by showing the history of the relationship between taxpayers and their states over time in several countries, allowing an answer to the question: Why are some countries more successful at implementation than others? The book concludes with a policy-oriented chapter written specifically with tax and revenue administrators in the developing world in mind. Drawing on lessons from the historical chapters it is argued that effective administration and equitable distribution of both taxes and public spending are keys to generating taxpayer consent.

89 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors consider the growth of pre-industrial industry as part and parcel of the process of industrialization, rather than as a first phase which preceded and prepared modern industrialization proper.
Abstract: Well before the beginning of machine industry, many regions of Europe became increasingly industrialized in the sense that a growing proportion of their labor potential was allocated to industry. Yet, that type of industry—the traditionally organized, principally rural handicrafts—barely fits the image one has of a modernizing economy. There is, however, cognitive value as well as didactic advantage in thinking of the growth of “pre-industrial industry” as part and parcel of the process of “industrialization” or, rather, as a first phase which preceded and prepared modern industrialization proper.

501 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The first volume of the "Origins of the Modern State in Europe" series as mentioned in this paper is the first volume to appear in the series, which consists of seven volumes, which bring together specialists from different countries, who reinterpret from a comparative European perspective, different aspects of the formation of the state over the long period from the beginning of the thirteenth to the end of the eighteenth century.
Abstract: This is the first volume to appear in the 'Origins of the Modern State in Europe' series, which arises from an important international research programme sponsored by the European Sciences Foundation.The aim of the series, which comprises seven volumes, is to bring together specialists from different countries, who reinterpret from a comparative European perspective, different aspects of the formation of the state over the long period from the beginning of the thirteenth to the end of the eighteenth century. One of the main achievements of the research programme has been to overcome the long-established historiographical tendency to regard states mainly form the viewpoint of their twentieth-century borders. Economic Systems and State Finance offers a new approach to the development of the state finance and fiscal systems in Europe. It covers a broad chronological span, beginning with a reassessment of the feudal system and beginnings of state finance, and counting with developments within a comparative European framework as far as 1815 when Britain emerged as the only state to have achieved economic hegemony. The conclusions are presented in four thematic chapters on expenditure, revenues, public credit, and the fiscal burden. The text is underpinned by the comprehensive apparatus of 97 figures, drawn from an important research database established during the research programme. Economic Systems and State Finance is a significant work of scholarship, which will make a permanent contribution to historical debate.

166 citations