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The nature and historical evolution of an exceptional fiscal state and its possible significance for the precocious commercialization and industrialization of the British economy from Cromwell to Nelson

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Abstract

Institutions that promoted or restrained early modern economic growth were established, sustained, and often destroyed by states. Yet their economic history lacks either a fundamental theory or grounded narrative for state formation in the east or the west. This survey of a library of recent research in the conjoined histories of national taxation and finance deploys a stage theory and reciprocal comparisons to explain when, how, and why England's political elites constructed a fiscal constitution for an island state that provided the external security, internal order, and successful mercantilism to carry the economy to a plateau of possibilities for a precocious industrial revolution.

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