The Ideological Response to State Expansion

Max. M Edling

in A Revolution in Favor of Government

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195148701
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835096 | DOI:
The Ideological Response to State Expansion

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It would be a fundamental mistake to assume a priori a complete correspondence between the historical sociology of state formation and the conceptual history of the “state,” or, in more general terms, between institutional and intellectual development, and between political reality and political rhetoric. Equally, it would be a mistake to assume that there is no relation whatsoever, and it would have been remarkable if the great expansion of the fiscal and military capacity of central government in Britain in the early modern period had gone unnoticed by contemporaries, so as to leave no mark on historical, political, and social reflection. Shows that the European process of state formation had indeed influenced political commentary in giving rise to arguments analyzing and criticizing the growth of the state, and that these arguments found their way across the Atlantic from Britain to the American colonies in the form of “Country” thought, which gave rise to a complete vocabulary with which to respond to the growth of the British fiscal‐military state in the Anglo‐American world of political discourse. In fact, Antifederalism can be described as an expression of Country thought, although it cannot at the same time be claimed that Federalism was a repetition of the contrasting central Court defense of state expansion.

Keywords: Antifederalism; British fiscal‐military state; British history; British state; central government; conceptual history of the state; Country thought; European state; Federalism; historical sociology; ideological response; state expansion; state formation; USA

Chapter.  5632 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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