The traditional historical picture painted of the Modern Period depicts a predatory, voracious state that managed to meet its essential war-waging objective by dint of coercion and rifling society of its human and economic resources. This oversimplified image belies the real historical situation. The fact is that Europeans managed to grow not so much by accreting years of peace and despite war but rather with war.
This book moots the possibility of linking war with development and doing so on the basis of the «fiscal-military» state. The eighteenth century has been chosen as the timeframe because it was precisely then when the need to mobilise war resources was at its height, when wars were most expensive and complex and when, at the same time, there was more growth and development. This book offers an analysis of this theory and sees how it holds up over a wide range of national cases.