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Synopsis

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the state emerged as a major player in the economies of the Western World.

This important new volume provides an economic history for the period 1815-1939 of state/business relations in the major powers: France, Germany, Japan, Russia, UK and the USA. The book challenges the traditional story that the scale of state intervention reflected the degree to which each country was ideologically committed to laissez-faire, and which also tended to assume that governments were interested in economic growth and raising average living standards. Robert Millward gives a rather different perspective, arguing that the scale of state intervention and the differences across countries were motivated more by considerations of external defence and internal unification than by any notions of promoting economic growth or adherence to laissez-faire.

This book provides, for the first time, an integrated economic history of these state /business relations in the major powers in the period 1815-1939, and offers a completely new perspective on the links between tariff policies, state enterprise in manufacturing, the treatment of the peasantry, regulation of railways, taxation of the business sector, policies on cartels, trusts and competition.

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