Professor Martin Daunton's major study of the politics of taxation in the 'long' nineteenth century examines the complex financial relationship between the state and its citizens. In 1799, taxes stood at 20 per cent of national income; by the outbreak of the First World War, they had fallen to less than half of their previous level. The process of fiscal containment resulted in a high level of trust in the financial rectitude of the government and in the equity of the tax system, contributing to the political legitimacy of the British state in the second half of the nineteenth century. As a result, the state was able to fund the massive enterprises of war and welfare in the twentieth century. Combining research with a comprehensive survey of existing kwledge, this lucid and wide-ranging book represents a major contribution to our understanding of Victorian and Edwardian Britain.
Martin Daunton, FBA, is a fellow of Churchill College and professor of economic history at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Progress and Poverty: An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1700-1850 (1995), and editor of Volume III of The Cambridge Urban History of Britain (2001).