War, the central government and the Scottish economy 1750-1830
The aim of this Thesis is to examine the relative costs and benefits accruing to Scotland from war related government activity. This aim is pursued through an examination of central government expenditure, taxation and borrowing. The primary approach adopted throughout is macroeconomic. The main objective is to view the Scottish experience relative to that of the rest of Britain. Subsidiary objectives are to discuss the regional impact within Scotland and, in the field of taxation, the implications of the way in which taxes were raised. Chapters one to four examine expenditure. Figures relating to military activity suggest a relatively low per capita share of military spending for Scotland. This is most clearly the case for capital items. Within Scotland the Edinburgh area enjoyed a disproportionately large share of military spending. Analysis of the implications of government demand in general suggests a few areas in which Scotland noticeably benefited but overall no sign of mar ked participation by Scottish industries in government supply. Chapters five to seven present taxation data. One conclusion reached is that the traditional view, both of contemporaries and historians, that the Scottish contribution to British tax revenue was relatively insignificant requires statistical measurement and subsequently qualification. Analysis of the incidence of tax within Scotland suggests a tax base dominated by indirect taxes mainly of a regressive nature. Chapter eight examines government borrowing and identifies a relatively insignificant Scottish share throughout. In that share the City of Edinburgh - the financial capital - dominated. Owing to the nature of eighteenth century government accounts it is difficult to relate the various aspects of government activity to one another to arrive at the net regional impact in Scotland. The final chapter however reviews the findings in terms of what are thought to be the most meaningful comparative indicators. It is not contended that the subsequent interpretation is the only one possible, it is suggested though that it is the most appropriate.