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Class-Warfare: Primitive Accumulation, Military Revolution and the British War-Worker

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the British experience in the Seven Years' War, a seminal period in Anglo-American history, when the British Empire came of age, the groundwork of modern imperialism was laid, and the seeds were sown for colonialist revolts by Native Americans and American colonists. Further, if the military is central to, and, in fact, productive of, these profound economic changes, it is necessary to re-conceptualise soldiers as war-workers, indeed, as transnational labourers whose martial toil around the globe proved integral to the development of international capitalism. Warfare constituted both a cause and an effect of primitive accumulation, non-mercenary soldiers the martial proletariat thrown up by the process. The utilisation of public debt constituted the other key to funding the fiscal-military state. The literature on military revolution and state-building, for all its differences, agrees on the central role of war in the formation of states.

Keywords: British war-worker; fiscal-military state; military revolution; primitive accumulation; Seven Years' War



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