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This review is from: Leviathan: The Rise of Britain as a World Power (Hardcover)
I have always been fascinated by the transformation from early Tudor England to world power by the beginning of the 1700s. How did this happen? Leviathan gives us a view that it depended on a marshalling and co-ordination of England's resources - that taxation and government direction can be a positive.
There were four strands that came out. first, the development of England's navy, then control of taxation to become an efficient state, then the development of England's army as a method of enforcement and the importance of empire as a means of economic development and, something not really developed, the importance of the Americas as a means of letting off population steam, as well as its economic growth fuelling part of the growth in Atlantic trade.
It's view that anti-Papism from the mid 1540s onwards was a powerful cohesive force that united the ruling elite with popular values is similar to that of Linda Colley. So add a fifth - the importance of ideology.
This is not an academic tome - but it is well written with a clear and supported thesis, which I was pleased to buy and pleased to recommend. I've given it 4 rather than 5 stars as I think it could have done with an economic analysis of England's strengths and how it developed over the period.