Trusting Leviathan: The Politics of Taxation in Britain, 1799-1914

Overview

Professor Martin Daunton's major work of original synthesis explores the politics of taxation in the "long" nineteenth century. In 1799, income tax stood at 20% of national income; by the outbreak of the First World War, it was 10%. This equitable exercise in fiscal containment lent the government a high level of legitimacy, allowing it to fund war and welfare in the twentieth century. Combining new research with a comprehensive survey of existing knowledge, this book examines the complex financial relationship ...
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Overview

Professor Martin Daunton's major work of original synthesis explores the politics of taxation in the "long" nineteenth century. In 1799, income tax stood at 20% of national income; by the outbreak of the First World War, it was 10%. This equitable exercise in fiscal containment lent the government a high level of legitimacy, allowing it to fund war and welfare in the twentieth century. Combining new research with a comprehensive survey of existing knowledge, this book examines the complex financial relationship between the State and its citizens.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Daunton presents a grand reconsideration of the 19th century British constitution, not in terms of suffrage, police power, laissez faire, or the openness of society, but in terms of the tax system. 'Trusting Leviathan' is his phrase for citizens' perceptions that they are being taxed fairly and that the proceeds are being spent wisely.... This important and controversial analysis belongs in every collection of British constitutional history. Upper-division undergraduate students through faculty." Choice

"[The] institutional approach to the legitimation of the Victorian state has now found its master in Martin Daunton, and his book defines the state of the art. Expertly researched, clear, judicious, and to my mind deeply compelling, it ought to be required reading for anyone who aspires to a synoptic view of nineteenth-century British history.... one of his greatest strengths is the clarity with which he describes the unavoidable technicalities of public finance and the clarity with which he lets us know why these deeply mattered to the broader story. In short, this is an exemplary work of scholarship whose readership deserves to extend well beyond the aficionados of institutional history." American Historical Review

"This is a definitive work of scholarship of the first caliber." Victorian Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521037488
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/12/2007
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Daunton, FBA, is a fellow of Churchill College and professor of economic history at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Progress and Poverty: An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1700–1850 (1995), and editor of Volume III of The Cambridge Urban History of Britain (2001).
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of figures; List of tables; Preface; List of abbreviations; 1. Trust, collective action and the state; 2. 'The great tax eater': the limits of the fiscal-military state, 1793–1842; 3. 'Philosophical administration and constitutional control': the emergence of the Gladstonian fiscal constitution; 4. 'A cheap purchase of future security': establishing the income tax, 1842–60; 5. 'Our real war chest': the national debt, war and empire; 6. 'The sublime rule of proportion': ability to pay and the social structure, 1842–1906; 7. 'The minimum of irritation': fiscal administration and civil society, 1842–1914; 8. 'The right of a dead hand': death and taxation; 9. 'Athenian democracy': the fiscal system and the local state, 1835–1914; 10. 'The end of our taxation tether': the limits of the Gladstonian fiscal constitution, 1894–1906; 11. 'The modern income tax': remaking the fiscal constitution, 1906–14; 12. Conclusion; Appendix: chancellors of the Exchequer, 1841–1914; Bibliography; Index.
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