Download Full Text (5.6 MB)
This monograph presents a survey of the crucial link between state (national) power and finance from the ancient era through to the present day. Cicero once said that the true sinew of war was “endless streams of money.” His observation remains as accurate today as it was when Rome first began constructing its Empire. Unfortunately, too many historical works leave this crucial underpinning link out of their narratives. Even those that do discuss economic and financial concerns typically miss the fact that the size of a state’s economy often has little to do with its capacity to wield influence on the global stage. Much more crucial, in this regard, is the possession of an administrative system capable of efficiently mobilizing a state’s resources. It was such an administrative apparatus that allowed Britain to punch far above its weight in the international arena for centuries. As a survey, this work is far from comprehensive, but the author hopes it will provide a stepping stone for a much-needed in-depth examination of the topic.
finance; economics; nation state
James Lacey Mr.,
Gold, Blood, and Power: Finance and War Through the Ages ( US Army War College Press, 2015),