This chapter discusses the development of the fiscal system in England between 1485 and 1815. The rise of a powerful and economically functional state in Britain waited upon two interrelated developments in its fiscal system: firstly, the establishment of a permanent public debt and, secondly, the provision of increasing flows of revenues (derived mainly from indirect taxes) required to service the regular interest payments which constituted the precondition for the debt's erratic but rapid accumulation in wartime.
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