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Customs and ExciseTrade, Production, and Consumption in England 1640-1845$
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William J. Ashworth

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259212.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 July 2021

Revenue, Metrology, and Casks

Revenue, Metrology, and Casks

Chapter:
(p.280) Chapter Fifteen Revenue, Metrology, and Casks
Source:
Customs and Excise
Author(s):

WILLIAM J. ASHWORTH

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259212.003.0016

This chapter examines issues relating to metrology and the state. A uniform system of taxation meant accounting for foreign and domestic customary variations in weights, measures, and containers. As a result, the state's revenue activities gradually impinged upon the diversity of British and colonial metrological practices and containers/packaging, as it tried to recast such things to aid its own activities. Measurement was not the primary issue, rather, it was the fact that it was a state-defined version — increasingly alienated from the object being gauged — being implemented over local versions that really rattled dispersed communities. The state, after all, was hardly the most trusted agglomeration of institutions. Everyday folk may have been suspicious of state approaches to quantification, but they themselves lived by their own version, dominated by a local notion of a ‘just measure’.

Keywords:   taxation, metrology, revenues, measurement

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