War and Economy: Rediscovering the Eighteenth-Century Military Entrepreneur

Pepijn Brandon, M. 't Hart, Rafael Torres-Sánchez

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Abstract

The detrimental effects traditionally assigned to warfare in the development of pre-industrial economies have obscured the prominent role that military entrepreneurs played in economic development in this period. Historiography minimises the extent to which war and the concomitant strengthening of the central state provided a whole new range of opportunities for capital investment, a tendency that has been strengthened by the paradigm of Redlich’s ‘decline of the soldier-entrepreneur’ and the technological determinism of the debate on the Military Revolution among others. The aim of this introduction is to look into the background of this relative lack of interest and to reaffirm the mutual dependence of eighteenth-century state-formation and the business of war.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)4-22
JournalBusinesss History
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • War
  • Business History
  • Capitalism
  • Military Entrepreneurs

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