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Grant number: FA-57203-13

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FA-57203-13

Priya Satia
Stanford University (Stanford, CA 94305-2004)

The Military Economy of the 18th-Century British Imperial State

I use the British gun industry as a window onto the relationship between 18th-century war and the industrial revolution. My hypothesis is that state demand critically stimulated an industrial mode of production and that contemporaries were alive to the tie between state and economy. I focus on the Galton firm of Birmingham, the single largest gun firm, supplying both the state and private custom--including slave traders. As Quakers, the Galtons wrestled publicly with the morality of gun-making, illuminating contemporary debates about the relationship between the complex imperial state and the economy. The gun trade’s close ties to other metallurgical and financial enterprises and its particular role in property crime (rather than as a weapon of passion) in the 18th-century culture of violence also suggest deeper ties between war and economy than are recognized. I use cultural and quantitative techniques, from representations of the gun in travel accounts to data on government purchases.

[Media coverage]

Project fields:
British History

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2013 – 8/31/2014