Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Blood of the Commonwealth

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

War, the State, and the Making of World Money

image of Historical Materialism

Insisting on the status of money as a creature of both the market and the state, this article challenges dualistic understandings of capitalist imperialism as entailing two fundamentally distinct logics, one capitalist, the other territorial. In opposition to the dual-logics position, the article argues for the distinctiveness of capitalist money in terms of a complex but unitary socio-economic logic. The social dynamism of this logic involves the spatial-territorial extension of the domain of modern value relations, embodied in fully-capitalist money. Departing from the development of coinage in ancient Greece, the article proceeds to identify the 1690s in Britain as the decisive moment in the emergence of a new and distinctively capitalist form of (world) money, institutionally based upon the Bank of England, in which state debt was thoroughly integrated with private financial markets. The crucial role of the Bank of England in this new monetary system is shown to have pivoted on its capacities to finance Britain’s inter-colonial wars. Colonialism, war, slavery and dispossession underline the omnipresence of ‘blood and dirt’ (Marx) in the development and reproduction of capitalist impersonal power as expressed in world money. Undoing the impersonal power characteristic of bourgeois money thus entails undoing the economic dispossession of the labouring poor, which forms the basis of their ‘possession’ by capital.

Affiliations: 1: York


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Anderson Kevin B. Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies 2010 Chicago University of Chicago Press
2. Appleby Joyce Oldham Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century England 1978 Princeton Princeton University Press
3. Aquanno Scott Panitch , Konings "‘ usPower and the International Bond Market: Financial Flows and the Construction of Risk Value’" 2009 2009
4. Aristophanes Barrett David " The Frogs " The Wasps, The Poet and the Women, The Frogs 1964 Harmondsworth Penguin Books
5. Arrighi Giovanni The Long Twentieth Century 1994 London Verso
6. Banaji Jairus "‘Modes of Production in a Materialist Conception of History’" Capital & Class 1977 Vol 1 3 1 44
7. Banaji Jairus Theory as History: Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation 2010 Leiden Brill Historical MaterialismBook Series
8. Barbon Nicolas A Discourse Concerning Coining the New Money Lighter 1696 London n.p.
9. Beattie John M. Policing and Punishment in London, 1660–1750: Urban Crime and the Limits of Terror 2001 Oxford Oxford University Press
10. Brewer John The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688–1783 1989 New York Alfred A. Knopf
11. Caffentzis Constantine George Clipped Coins, Abused Words and Civil Government: John Locke’s Philosophy of Money 1989 New York Autonomedia
12. Campbell Gwyn , Miers Suzanne , Miller Joseph C. Women and Slavery, Volume 1, Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic 2007 Athens, OH University of Ohio Press
13. Carruthers Bruce G. City of Capital: Politics and Markets in the English Financial Revolution 1996 Princeton Princeton University Press
14. Clapham John The Bank of England: A History 1966 Vol Volume 1 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
15. Cook Robert Manuel "‘Speculations on the Origins of Coinage’" Historia 1958 Vol 7 3 257 262
16. Craig John "‘Isaac Newton and the Counterfeiters’" Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 1963 Vol 18 2 136 145
17. Craven Paul , Hay Douglas Lovejoy , Rogers "‘The Criminalization of “Free” Labour: Master and Servant in Comparative Perspective’" 1994 1994
18. Dalton George Primitive, Archaic, and Modern Economies: Essays of Karl Polanyi 1968 Boston Beacon Press
19. Davenant Charles "‘Memorial Concerning the Coin of England in which are handled these 4 Questions’" 1963 [1696] excerpted in Li 1963
20. Davies Glyn A History of Money: From Ancient Times to the Present Day 2002 Third Edition Cardiff University of Wales Press
21. Dickson Peter George Muir The Financial Revolution in England: A Study in the Development of Public Credit, 1688–1756 1967 London Macmillan
22. Eckers Michael , Hart Gillian , Kipfer Stefan , Loftus Alex Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics 2013 Chichester Wiley-Blackwell
23. Einaudi Luigi Lane Frederic C. , Riemersma Jelle C. "‘The Theory of Imaginary Money from Charlemagne to the French Revolution’" Enterprise and Secular Change: Readings in Economic History 1953 London Allen and Unwin
24. Finley Moses I. The World of Odysseus 1965 Second Edition Harmondsworth Penguin Books
25. Finley Moses I. Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology 1983 Harmondsworth Penguin Books
26. Flint Christopher "‘Speaking Objects: The Circulation of Stories in Eighteenth-Century Prose Fiction’" PMLA 1998 Vol 113 2 212 226
27. Foley Duncan Moseley Fred "‘Marx’s Theory of Money in Historical Perspective’" Marx’s Theory of Money: Modern Appraisals 2005 Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan
28. Gerriets Marilyn "‘Money in Early Christian Ireland According to the Irish Laws’" Comparative Studies in Society and History 1985 Vol 27 2 323 339
29. Gerstenberger Heide Fernbach David Impersonal Power: History and Theory of the Bourgeois State 2007 Leiden Brill Historical MaterialismBook Series,
30. Gleick James Isaac Newton 2004 New York Vintage Books
31. Goody Jack R. "‘Marriage Prestations, Inheritance and Descent in Pre-Industrial Societies’" Journal of Comparative Family Studies 1970 Vol 1 1 37 54
32. Graeber David Debt: The First 5,000 Years 2011 New York Melville House
33. Grierson Philip The Origins of Money 1977 London Athlone Press
34. Harvey David The New Imperialism 2003 Oxford Oxford University Press
35. Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Wood Allen W. Elements of the Philosophy of Right 1991 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
36. Herodotus The Histories 2003 Harmondsworth Penguin Books translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt and revised by John M. Marincola
37. Hinshelwood Brad "‘The Carolinian Context of John Locke’s Theory of Slavery’" Political Theory 2013 Vol 41 4 562 590
38. Hobbes Thomas Macpherson C.B. Leviathan 1968 Harmondsworth Penguin Books
39. Horsefield J. Keith British Monetary Experiments, 1650–1710 1960 Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press
40. Howgego Christopher J. Ancient History from Coins 1995 London Routledge
41. Ingham Geoffrey The Nature of Money 2004 Cambridge Polity Press
42. Innes A. Mitchell Wray L. Randall "‘What is Money?’" Credit and State Theories of Money: The Contributions of A. Mitchell Innes 2004 [1913–14] Cheltenham Edward Elgar
43. Jones D.W. War and Economy in the Age of William III and Marlborough 1988 Oxford Basil Blackwell
44. Jordan Winthrop D. White over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550–1812 1968 Chapel Hill University of North Carolina Press
45. Kraay Colin M. "‘Hoards, Small Change and the Origins of Coinage’" Journal of Hellenic Studies 1964 Vol 84 76 91
46. Kraay Colin M. Archaic and Classical Greek Coins 1976 Berkeley University of California Press
47. Kurke Leslie Coins, Bodies, Games, and Gold: The Politics of Meaning in Archaic Greece 1999 Princeton Princeton University Press
48. Laslett Peter "‘John Locke, the Great Recoinage, and the Origins of the Board of Trade: 1695–1698’" The William and Mary Quarterly 1957 Vol III, 14 3 370 402
49. Lefebvre Henri Nicholson-Smith Donald The Production of Space 1991 Oxford Blackwell
50. Levenson Thomas Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist 2009 Boston Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
51. Li Ming-Hsun The Great Recoinage of 1696 to 1699 1963 London Weidenfeld and Nicolson
52. Locke John Locke "‘Some Considerations of the Consequences of Lowering the Interest and Raising the Value of Money’" 1824a [1691] 1824c
53. Locke John Locke "‘Further Considerations Concerning Raising the Value of Money’" 1824b [1696] 1824c
54. Locke John " The Works of John Locke " Economic Writings and Two Treatises of Government 1824c Vol Volume 4 Twelfth Edition London C. & J. Rivington et al.
55. Locke John Laslett Peter Two Treatises of Government 1963 Revised Edition Cambridge Cambridge University Press
56. Lovejoy Paul E. , Rogers Nicholas Unfree Labour in the Development of the Atlantic World 1994 Abingdon Frank Cass
57. Mann Geoff Eckers Hart , Kipfer , Loftus "‘State of Confusion: Money and the Space of Civil Society in Hegel and Gramsci’" 2013 2013
58. Marx Karl Theories of Surplus Value 1971 Vol Volume 3 Moscow Progress Publishers
59. Marx Karl Nicolaus Martin Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft) 1973 Harmondsworth Penguin Books
60. Marx Karl Fowkes Ben Capital: A Critique of Political Economy 1976 [1867] Vol Volume 1 Harmondsworth Penguin Books
61. McNally David "‘Locke, Levellers and Liberty: Property and Democracy in the Thought of the First Whigs’" History of Political Thought 1989 Vol 10 1 17 40
62. McNally David Against the Market: Political Economy, Market Socialism and the Marxist Critique 1993 London Verso
63. McNally David Laxer Gordon , Soron Dennis "‘The Commodity Status of Labour: The Secret of Commodified Life’" Not for Sale: Decommodifying Public Life 2006 Peterborough Broadview Press
64. McNally David Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires and Global Capitalism 2012 Chicago Haymarket Books Historical MaterialismBook Series
65. Melville-Jones John "‘Why Did the Ancient Greeks Strike Coins?’" Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia 2005 Vol 17 21 30
66. Miller Joseph C. Campbell Miers , Miller "‘Introduction: Women as Slaves and Owners of Slaves’" 2007 2007
67. Panitch Leo , Gindin Sam The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire 2012 London Verso
68. Panitch Leo , Konings Martijn American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance 2009 Revised Edition Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan
69. Patterson Orlando Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study 1982 Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press
70. Polanyi Karl Dalton "‘The Semantics of Money Uses’" 1968 [1957] 1968
71. Pradella Lucia "‘Imperialism and Capitalist Development in Marx’s Capital’" 2013 Vol 21 2 117 147 HistoricalMaterialism
72. Roberts Clayton "‘The Constitutional Significance of the Financial Settlement of 1690’" The Historical Journal 1977 Vol 20 1 59 76
73. Rogers Nicholas Lovejoy , Rogers "‘Vagrancy, Impressment and the Regulation of Labour in Eighteenth-Century Britain’" 1994 1994
74. Roseveare Henry The Financial Revolution, 1660–1760 1991 London Longman
75. Seaford Richard Money and the Early Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy 2004 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
76. Shaikh Anwar "‘Foreign Trade and the Law of Value, Part I’" Science & Society 1979 Vol 43 3 281 302
77. Shaikh Anwar "‘Foreign Trade and the Law of Value, Part II’" Science & Society 1980 Vol 44 1 27 57
78. Stasavage David "‘Partisan Politics and Public Debt: The Importance of the “Whig Supremacy” for Britain’s Financial Revolution’" European Review of Economic History 2007 Vol 11 1 123 153
79. Thomas Hugh The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440–1870 1997 New York Touchstone
80. Valenze Deborah The Social Life of Money in the English Past 2006 Cambridge Cambridge University Press
81. Vilar Pierre A History of Gold and Money: 1450–1920 1984 London Verso
82. Wennerlind Carl "‘The Death Penalty as Monetary Policy: The Practice and Punishment of Monetary Crime, 1690–1830’" History of Political Economy 2004 Vol 36 1 131 161
83. Wootton David Political Writings of John Locke 1993 New York Mentor

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Historical Materialism — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation