Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Lecture 5



1. Mercantilist Policies

-protectionist trade policies

-acquisition of colonies

-acquisition of gold bullion

gold reserves and trade balances

2. The Dutch

entrepot trades

3. Navigation Acts from 1660

4. The Navy

5. Century of War

1688-1802 - Britain declared war against foreign powers eight times

enemies - France and Spain

alliances with the Dutch, the Austrians, Russians and Prussians

6. The British way of warfare

7. Manpower

1789 - British army - 40,000 Navy - 16,000

1814 - army was 250,000 - Navy - 140,000

-impact of demobilization

8. Taxation

Customs duties - tea, sugar, spirits and tobacco

Excise duties - beer, malt, hops, soap, salt, candles and leather

Indirect taxation - socially regressive - middling sort and labour classes

bore disproportionate part of tax burden

9. Types of taxes

Taxes on luxuries

1695 - tax on bachelors, and on births, marriages and deaths

Stamp duties - legal documents, newspapers and financial instruments

Customs duties smuggling


Excise duties rose from 26.1% of total taxes 1696-1700 to 50.6% in 1751-5

10. National debt

borrowing to meet costs of war

Long term loans and capacity to levy taxes related - the funding system - repayment of loans linked to specific taxes

Government stock and the Stock Exchange

Corruption and the national debt

Rise of the income tax

11. Colonies and Colonial policy

British trade policy in the East

Bengal 1757 -East India Company - revenues rose from nothing before 1757 to ,7.5 mil. in 1766-9

12. War and patriotism