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p. 172. Government and Lawlocked

  • John Morrill


‘Government and Law’ shows how, despite the government's limited financial resources, fiscal innovations — particularly in indirect taxation — allowed them to balance the budget by the end of the century, and finance wars. Only after the Civil War was there a standing army. Prior to that, the government had to rely on militias and lacked coercive powers. Lack of an effective bureaucracy meant that the government lacked information and depended on unpaid voluntary officials to govern the provinces. An oligarchy of gentry families controlled and staffed county government. Although government relied on the cooperation of local elites, the monarchy was generally successful in moulding belief and opinion.

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