Author: David Blaazer
In Forging Nations, Blaazer studies the relationships between money, power, and nationality in England, Scotland, and Ireland from the first attempts to unify their currencies following the Union of the Crowns in 1603 to the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. Through successive crises spanning four centuries, Forging Nations examines critical struggles over monetary power between the state and its creditors, and within and between nations during the long, multifaceted process of creating the United Kingdom as a monetary as well as a political union. It shows how and why centuries of monetary dysfunction and conflict eventually gave way to the era of the sterling gold standard, when elite and popular beliefs about money converged around a set of almost unassailable monetary dogmas that transcended differences of nationality, party, and class. Sustained by a mixture of historical myths and imperial hubris, this consensus effortlessly reinforced the authority and served the interests of the monetary elite, even after its economic foundations had collapsed under the pressure of war and international competition. The book concludes by showing how the end of the UK’s global hegemony and the prospect of Scottish independence have resuscitated historical differences between England, Ireland, and Scotland in attitudes to currency’s role in defining national identity, while the Global Financial Crisis has revived forgotten debates over the nature of money and monetary power.
David Blaazer, Forging Nations : Currency, Power, and Nationality in Britain and Ireland since 1603, Oxford University Press, 2023, https://global.oup.com/academic/product/forging-nations-9780192887023?lang=en&cc=bs#