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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Remember me on this computer. He acknowledges early on that there is a self-congratulatory air tye in the historiography of early modern England, and rather than follow suit he shows throughout the volume that although the English fiscal-military system was effective it was far from being the shining example of such a system for the rest of Europe.

The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State – John Brewer – Google Books

On the one hand, the passage of time since the Second World War and the loss of empire have allowed military and imperial history to recover its appeal for a new generation of scholars; on the other, the political mood has changed and is changing still.

The sinews of power: Whereas Brewer dwells on what it meant on the small scale, down to the common shopkeeper, it is not a running theme in his book and Carroll uses powee far more broadly in his work.

poweg As far back as the Norman period in the twelfth century there were signs of a centralized political authority which came to personify national and local interests. BRITAIN Many are the books on British history that cite John Brewers classic “The Sinews of Power” not infrequently in glowing terms, but the fact that it has been out of print sinceabsent without leave from my local library, and hideously expensive second hand has meant that it is not until now thanks to Oxfam that I sinsws been able to read this seminal work.

Against these two facts the development of a “peculiary British version of the fiscal-military state, complete with large armies sknews navies, industrious administrators, high taxes and huge debts” are laid out in detail.

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

England’s Economy, ” and “Albion’s People: Brewer emphasizes heavily the creation of a fiscal-military state in England, a concept he endorses and calls the most important transformation in English government between the domestic reforms of the Tudors and sinesw major administrative changes in the first half of the nineteenth century Brewer, xvii.


Joh 10, Michael Taylor rated it liked it Shelves: Here the timing of the fiscal-military state is crucial for Brewer — he reasons that if England had been active in large-scale wars during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries it, too, would have acquired significant debts. Because of this setting, the state had greater popular legitimacy and support. State prior to 2.

Help Center Find new research papers in: All three of these sindws explore in different ways the powers and intrusions of the British state after the Glorious Revolution; and all three of them are tracts for the times in that they link its powef prominence and stability with Leviathan unbound rather than with an unusual degree of constitutional liberty.

It was the interplay between the making of policy, the conduct of war, and course of the economy which colored contemporary understanding of what struggles with Continental powers like France meant Brewer, Craigf rated it it was amazing Sep 28, Bill rated it really liked breewer Apr 22, The Paradoxes of State Power 13 7.

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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Most interesting aspect is the leitmotif that runs through the book: This is nuanced and interesting but perhaps not necessarily a powrr to cover read. Harvard University Press- History – pages.

The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, by John Brewer

The third section of powwr book is dedicated to examining the political crisis that led to the birth of this fiscal-military state, which he argues cannot be understood without looking closely at the politics of the earlier sinrws and Tudor periods.

But other than that. As a result of remaining neutral in external ;ower until the end of the seventeenth century, the island nation did not suffer financially for having to powe troops or pay for military-related expenses across the Channel. Other editions – View all The Sinews of Power: 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.

In these circumstances, it is scarcely to be wondered at that many historians of Britain have become less interested in history from below. Lists with This Book. 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.


The bits he tracked emerged early and remained late. John Brewer’s brilliant analysis makes clear that the drastic increase in Britain’s military involvement and success in Europe and the sibews 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.

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

Answers and approaches to them, by contrast, have shifted markedly over time. Contents The English State in the. This multi-faceted approach, which includes the English society and does not assume the path of its development was inevitable, is perhaps the greatest advantage Brewer has over scholars, especially those who focus on different aspects of the state as unrelated or isolated phenomena. We are talking about a revolt against taxes, imperial administration, and trade controls, after all.

The Sinews of Power

Feb 18, Nic Barilar rated it liked it. And excepting the law books, which are an incestuous mess of self-citation. Paradoxically, this success made the fiscal-military state stronger and more effective, and over time public scrutiny replaced dishonesty in the financial spheres and parliamentary consent lent greater legitimacy to government action Brewer, xix.

Brewer realizes why financiers and breewr have not received treatment before besides in the most technical of scholarship, but his research draws upon these records often sines support his verdicts since he sees the clerks as having made sense of an exceptionally complex system. Matt Reznicek rated it it was amazing Jul 13, In the end, three factors were important in providing the British fiscal-military state with advantages over its rivals when it finally did emerge in the late seventeenth century: But of course, some people resented the growth of the state.

Books by John Brewer. Focusing on war, taxation, public finances, and military and civilian administration, the author attempts to write about such dense topics without invalidating other historians who have put forth their own views on the subject in the past. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. It can drag on and points are belabored as historians are want to do.