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States of CreditSize, Power, and the Development of European Polities$
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David Stasavage

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691140575

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691140575.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter One Introduction
States of Credit

David Stasavage

Princeton University Press

This book examines two distinctive features of European state formation: the invention of the concept of political representation and the development of a system of public credit. Using systematic data on public credit and political representation for thirty-one European states over the period 1250–1750, the book asks whether the presence of an intensive form of representation facilitated access to credit for the former, allowing them to survive and their economies to prosper. It also explores how this joint emergence of credit and representation affected broader trends involving war, state formation, and economic development. The book argues that the presence of an intensive form of representation characterized by an assembly that could monitor and modify expenditures played a key role in facilitating access to credit by European states. The book also discusses the prerogatives and level of activity of representative assemblies in territorial states as compared to city-states.

Keywords:   state formation, political representation, public credit, Europe, war, economic development, representative assemblies, territorial states, city-states

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