By the second half of the eighteenth century, despite the continued presence of the Russian, Habsburg and Ottoman empires in Eastern Europe and the diversity of small states in what would become Germany and Italy, the territorial state was becoming the dominant political actor in Europe. Increasingly central government was becoming more complex, especially in the non-absolutist states where the court played a much more restricted role. However the state’s capacity to project central rule into the localities remained limited. The infrastructure did not exist to enable the construction of a bureaucratic hierarchy extending deep into society. Even in constitutional England, where central rule relied upon the cooperation of local notables tied to the centre by ideology and the Parliament, the institutional means did not exist for the exercise of intrusive controls by the centre nor for a coherent process of interdependence between state and society. In the nineteenth century the means that would enable both of these would begin to be built. This was associated with the rise of industrialization. This chapter explains how the state in the West was influential in the process of industrialization, and how industrialization gave the state the means it had earlier lacked both to project power into society and to act cooperatively with society.
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