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John Shovlin
New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)
Trade, Debt, and International Order in the Age of Enlightenment

Networks of public officials, financiers and intellectuals, based in Britain, France, and the Dutch Republic sought to channel eighteenth-century Franco-British rivalry into peaceful economic competition. I use a history of these networks to propose a new interpretation of the period's international history, one which places the problem of public debt at the center of international politics. The key impetus for pacification efforts came from the world of public finance, where officials, financiers and political economists concurred that the exploding public debts associated with the century's many wars were sapping the long term foundations of power. Peace was a safer path to hegemony. Finding existing explanatory paradigms wanting, I consider anew the relationship between capitalism and international order in the eighteenth century, and reveal an international realm with remarkable parallels to our own.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British History; European History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2015 – 8/31/2016