The Ohio Seminar in Early American History presents a mini-conference:
The Fiscal-Military State Under Fire: Rethinking Military State Formation, 1713-1775
Sarah Kinkel, Ohio University
The Royal Navy and Imperial State-Building in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic
William P. Tatum III, Dutchess County (N.Y.) Historian
'Within the Narrow Limets of a German Government:' The Legal-Military State in the British Empire, 1713-1775
Chris Otter, Ohio State University
Short papers by both presenters will be available for the seminar participants around March 28.
Sarah Kinkel offers this abstract of her paper, “The Royal Navy and Imperial State-Building in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic”:
Eighteenth-century Britain has been offered as the exemplar of the fiscal-military state, but a better term might be “fiscal-naval state”: early modern navies required vast capital investments and long-term planning in ways that armies did not. The Royal Navy was not only the single largest organization of people and resources in the British Empire—it was also at the heart of debates within the Anglo-imperial world over the right of the state to regulate civilian lives. After the Seven Years’ War, sea officers and their ships took on an increasingly prominent role in enforcing economic, social, and political order on the imperial periphery. The navy became the foundation of a concerted attempt to extend the reach of the British state into the empire.
Will Tatum offers this abstract of his paper: “'Within the Narrow Limets of a German Government:' The Legal-Military State in the British Empire, 1713-1775”
Since the publication of John Brewer’s Sinews of Power, the fiscal-military state has played a disproportionate role in explaining the army’s impact on British state formation during the eighteenth century. The construct fails to account for other factors first raised by scholarship on the Military Revolution, particularly the struggle for civilian control over the military. The heated debates over the form, function, and development of military justice, in both Parliament and within the army, constituted a hitherto unrecognized proving ground for the Whig vision of state formation. The resulting legal-military state, the body of law and procedure that secured the civil-military relationship, offers new perspectives on the army’s role in state formation and its place within the larger imperial framework.
The seminar will be followed with pizza and conversation at John Brooke and Sara Balderston’s, 1097 Wyandotte Road, Grandview, TBA.