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The Making and Unmaking of EmpiresBritain, India, and America c.1750-1783$
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P.J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226665

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226665.001.0001

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State and Empire

State and Empire

(p.57) 2 State and Empire
The Making and Unmaking of Empires


Oxford University Press

‘Empire’ in this book is interpreted as the imposition of rule by a state over territory and people overseas. In the mid-eighteenth century, the British state greatly increased its ambitions to make its claims to rule overseas effective. By then the British state was quite a formidable one by contemporary standards. It had a high capacity to raise money by taxes and borrowing to enable it to wage war on land and sea. Its ability to supervise the administration of overseas affairs was less developed. American and West Indian colonies were largely self-governing and British interests in India were in the hands of the chartered East India Company. The stresses of the Seven Years War brought about strong pressures for increasing the role of the state in the management of overseas possessions.

Keywords:   British Empire, British state, tax, colonies, West Indies, charter, Seven Years War, East India Company

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