Customs and Excise: Trade, Production, and Consumption in England, 1640-1845

Overview

Ashworth traces the growth of customs and excise, and their integral role in shaping the framework of industrial England. He examines their influence on elements such as state power, technical advance, and the evolution of a consumer society. If there was a unique pathway of industrialization, it was less a distinct entrepreneurial and techno-centric culture, than one predominantly defined within an institutional framework spearheaded by the excise and a wall of tariffs.

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Overview

Ashworth traces the growth of customs and excise, and their integral role in shaping the framework of industrial England. He examines their influence on elements such as state power, technical advance, and the evolution of a consumer society. If there was a unique pathway of industrialization, it was less a distinct entrepreneurial and techno-centric culture, than one predominantly defined within an institutional framework spearheaded by the excise and a wall of tariffs.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ashworth provides us with a rewarding analysis of the role of customs and excise in the making of modern British economy. Because of his focus, he offers the grit that many of the preceding works on the fiscal-military lack. Ashworth has written a model book well worth studying by anyone interested in any aspect of the long eighteenth century."—David Hancock, Journal of Modern History

"This book is impressive both in its chronological span and its attention to detail. Ashworth has undoubtedly made an important contribution to our understanding of the development of Britain's state institutions and economy."—American Historical Review

"An ambitious book with a wide scope both thematically and chronologically. It provides a comprehensive description of the origins, development and demise of a mode of taxation, namely the fiscal regime of the English/British State from the formation of the Excise Excise in the 1640's to the introduction of income tax some two hundred years later."— EH-NET

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199259212
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2003
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Part I: Consuming the People
1. The Emergence of Public Credit: War, Revenue, and High Politics
2. The "Consumptibility" of Goods: Customs, Excise, and Trade
3. The Equitable Tax?
4. Liberty, Property, and the Excise
Part II: The "Devil's Remedy"
5. Delusion? Public Credit, Trust, and the Excise
6. The Introduction of the Excise
7. "His leering eyes gives such a look": The World of Excise
Part III: An Impolite and Commercial People - the Common Economy
8. Life on the Waterfront
9. Pilfering, Custom Fees, and Renumeration
10. Smuggling
11. Free Trade, Transport, and Concealment
Part IV: Excise, Fraud, and Production
12. Drink and Food
13. Candles, Soap, Salt, Starch, Leather, Paper, Textiles, and Glass
Part V: Shaping and Regulating the Market
14. Measurement, Instrumentation, and Alcohol Standards
15. Revenue, Metrology, and Casks
16. The Incarceration, Adulteration, and Policing of Taxed Goods
Part VI: Dismantling the Fiscal-Military State
17. The Limits of Taxation and the Politics of Representation
18. Revenue, "Old Corruption", and Manufacturing Interests
19. "Simplicity, Uniformity, and Perspicuity"
20. "The Calcio Millennium"
Index

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