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.
`This ambitious collaboration has brought to bear an immense amount of data and expertise across a very broad chronological and geographical range. This range and variety makes it an extremely valuable book and it whets the appetite for the other projected volumes ... A rich and thought-provoking book that will serve as a work of reference for the generalist and a point of departure for future research. It deserves a wide readership and will certainly
stimulate further comparative work on crucial aspects of European history in these six centuries.'
The Economic History Review
`in Richard Bonney the series has foind exactly the right blend of qualities to see it successfully launched...the book is its own monument...will this book and its components sit, like the CMH, dusty and unconsulted on the open shelves indispensably ignored? This one deserves a better fate, for it brings into focus some fundamental aspect so of the fiscal old regime, not to mention the later Middle Ages...like some of the best books, it offers worhtwhile
insights and information whenever it falls open, and has no rival or counterpart anywhere else, Future historians of old regime Europe will be unable to imagine what life was like without it'
`uppressive collection of essays ... Bonney and his collaborators have provided a massive agenda for future historians, presenting them with a body of data and establishing taxonomies of the forms of domain and tax states.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`Specialists from different countries offer a new approach to the development of state finance and fiscal systems in Europe from the 13th to the 18th centuries.'
The Medieval World
`The importance of a state's fiscal constitution in reflecting its character and development has not always been acknowleded by historians, thought it was often prominent in the minds of contemporaries. This book renders future neglect inexcusable, Its eclectic and comparative approach amply illustrates the diversity but consistency of the European pattern of state-building.'
G.L. Harriss, EHR Apr.96